Across he Corn Belt, lingering snow showers are limited to the middle Ohio Valley. Dry weather covers the remainder of the Midwest, although dense fog developed overnight in parts of the western Corn Belt. Most of the region is covered by shallow to moderately deep snow, following multiple winter storms.
On the Plains, dry weather accompanies above-normal temperatures. The warmth is further eroding winter wheat’s protective snow cover, which exists only across minor wheat areas of the eastern Dakotas and portions of the central Plains. The snow depth in Lincoln, Nebraska, fell to 10 inches on February 1, down from 14 inches from January 26-28.
In the South, cool, blustery weather prevails in the wake of a departing storm system. Snow showers linger from the southern Appalachians into the middle Atlantic States. Meanwhile in Florida, winds gusting to 30 mph or higher are a concern for tender crops, including winter vegetables, especially in areas prone to blowing sand due to topsoil moisture shortages. Statewide, Florida’s topsoil moisture was rated 38% very short to short on January 31.
In the West, rain and snow showers dot northern and central California and the Northwest. Mild, dry weather covers the remainder of the region, including the Southwest. According to the California Department of Water Resources, the average water equivalency of the high-elevation Sierra Nevada snowpack improved to approximately 12 inches (68% of normal) at the beginning of February, up from 6 inches (38%) a week earlier.
The powerful coastal storm currently centered near the mid-Atlantic coast will move across the Canadian Maritimes on Wednesday, with slowly subsiding snow- and wind-related impacts in the northeastern U.S. By Wednesday morning, however, freezes may extend into northern sections of Florida’s citrus belt. Meanwhile, the storm system currently affecting the Northwest will push eastward, delivering wind-driven snow across the upper Mississippi Valley and the upper Great Lakes region on Thursday into Friday. The most significant cold outbreak of the season will trail that storm system, with widespread sub-zero temperatures arriving across the northern Plains and upper Midwest during the weekend and persisting into next week. High winds and blowing snow may accompany the Midwestern blast of frigid air, with wintry weather returning across the Northeast during the weekend. In contrast, dry weather will prevail during the next 5 days from southern California to the southern Plains.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for colder-than-normal weather nationwide, except for near-normal temperatures in southern California, the southern Great Basin, and the Desert Southwest. Meanwhile, drier-than-normal weather in the interior Southeast, Mississippi Valley, and west of the Rockies should contrast with near- or above-normal precipitation on the Plains, across the lower Great Lakes region, and along the Atlantic Coast.