Across the Corn Belt, mild weather continues to erode a previously extensive snow cover. Friday’s high temperatures will generally range from 40 to 50 degrees. Currently, snow remains on the ground across parts of eastern Nebraska and much of the northern Corn Belt.
On the Plains, mild, tranquil weather prevails, less than 2 weeks after the peak of an historic cold wave that delivered the lowest temperatures since at least December 1989 to communities from South Dakota to Texas. Breezy weather lingers across the northern Plains, although winds have slackened compared to earlier in the week. In Havre and Great Falls, Montana, winds gusted to 50 mph or higher on February 21, 22, and 25.
In the South, a band of locally heavy rain stretches from northeastern Texas to the southern Appalachians. Meanwhile, warm, dry weather favors spring fieldwork across the Deep South, from southern Texas to Florida, where Friday’s high temperatures should range from 70 to 85°.
In the West, rain and snow showers extend inland from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies. Spring and summer water-supply prospects remain mostly favorable across the northern tier of the western U.S.—but are considerably more worrisome in already drought-affected areas from California to the southern Rockies. According to the February 23 U.S. Drought Monitor, extreme to exceptional drought (D3 to D4) covers more than one-half of Utah (90%), Arizona (85%), New Mexico (82%), Nevada (76%), and Colorado (57%).
During the next 5 days, multiple rounds of rain across the South could lead to totals of 2 to 5 inches or more, mainly from eastern Texas to the central and southern Appalachians. At times, heavy rain could extend as far north as the Ohio River. The rain could lead to flooding, especially in parts of the Tennessee Valley. In contrast, little or no rain will fall during the next 5 days across Florida’s peninsula. California and the Southwest will also remain mostly dry into early next week. Elsewhere, precipitation will temporarily subside during the weekend across the Northwest, while cold, windy weather will briefly engulf the Great Lakes and Northeastern States.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of above-normal temperatures from the Plains to the East Coast, while cooler-than-normal conditions will be limited to areas along and near the Pacific Coast. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation cross most of the country should contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in northern California, New England, and the Pacific Northwest.