In the West, snow is developing across portions of the Intermountain region in conjunction with a developing storm system. Elsewhere in the West, dry, somewhat cooler weather prevails. The Sierra Nevada will need to receive an average of 22 inches of liquid during the next two months (about 2¾ inches per week) to achieve a “normal” snow pack by the end of the 2011-12 wet season.

On the Plains, cloudiness is increasing in advance of a developing storm. Temperatures remain above normal but will soon begin to fall on the central High Plains, where a blizzard warning has been issued—effective tonight through Saturday.

In the Corn Belt, mild, dry weather prevails. Today’s high temperatures will range from 40°F in the northern Corn Belt to near 60°F in the middle Mississippi Valley.

In the South, dry weather is returning to the drought-affected southern Atlantic region, following a brief period of light rain showers. Across the remainder of the region, warm, dry weather is promoting off-season fieldwork and the growth of winter grains and cool-season pastures.

Outlook: Rain will end later today in the Mid-Atlantic States. Meanwhile, a developing storm over the Intermountain West will drift eastward, reaching the mid-Mississippi Valley by Saturday. An impressive area of winddriven snow will benefit winter wheat on the central Plains but cause significant travel disruptions from the central Rockies into Iowa. The heaviest snow, possibly in excess of a foot, can be expected from northeastern Colorado into south-central Nebraska. Farther south, strong thunderstorms will sweep across the southern Plains later today and into the lower Mississippi Valley during the weekend. Storm-total precipitation could reach 1 to 2 inches on the central and southern Plains, and 1 to 3 inches from the western Gulf Coast region into the lower Mississippi Valley. Elsewhere, little or no precipitation will fall into early next week. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for February 7-11 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal weather from southern Texas into the lower Southeast. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation across most of the U.S. will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in the lower Great Lakes region and across the southern half of Texas.