Across the Corn Belt, rain is gradually ending across the Ohio Valley and the lower Great Lakes region. Elsewhere in the Midwest, mild, dry weather prevails. Lingering snow cover is confined to the far upper Midwest, including the Red River Valley of the North.
On the Plains, patches of light precipitation are mostly confined to Nebraska and South Dakota. Meanwhile, unusually warm weather prevails across the central and southern Plains, helping to promote some early growth of winter grains in the wake of recent precipitation. In Texas, 25% of the winter wheat was headed by March 8, compared to the 5-year average of 1%.
In the South, showers extend southwestward from the southern Appalachians and the Tennessee Valley to the central Gulf Coast. Across most of the region, above-normal temperatures and abundant soil moisture reserves favor rapid development of winter grains and some early-season pasture growth.
In the West, locally heavy showers are affecting southern California and the Desert Southwest, while some snow is falling at higher elevations. Flash flooding is a threat in areas where the heaviest rain is occurring. However, warm, dry weather prevails in northern California’s key watershed areas, which have received little precipitation since December.
A high-pressure system currently over Alaska will move southeastward, reaching the northern High Plains during the weekend. Markedly colder air will accompany the high-pressure system’s arrival, preceded by rain and snow showers. Colder air will also settle across the Northwest. As the weather pattern begins to change, beneficial precipitation may develop across northern California and the Great Basin. Meanwhile, a slow-moving storm system currently affecting southern California and the Desert Southwest will drift eastward. As a result, 5-day precipitation totals could reach 1 to 3 inches or more from southern California to the interior Southeast. At times, rain may spread as far north as the central Plains and much of the Midwest.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of above-normal temperatures in most areas from the southern Plains to the Atlantic Seaboard, while colder-than-normal conditions will cover the northern Plains, upper Midwest, and the West. Meanwhile, above-normal precipitation across most of the country should contrast with drier-than-normal weather in Florida, New England, and the Pacific Northwest.