In the West, chilly conditions prevail. Scattered rain and snow showers are falling as far south as northern California and the Intermountain West. However, spring and summer runoff prospects remain bleak, except in the Rockies and across the northern tier of the region.

On the Plains, dry weather prevails, except for snow showers across northern areas. Cool weather on the northern High Plains contrasts with very warm conditions farther south. Today’s high temperature could reach 85°F in central Texas and will exceed 70°F as far north as southern Kansas. Across the southern half of the Plains, rangeland and pastures have not recovered from last year’s historic drought; at the end of February, 67% were rated in very poor to poor condition in Oklahoma, along with 59% in Texas and 54% in Kansas.

In the Corn Belt, some snow remains on the ground across the northern tier of the region, with a 2-inch depth noted this morning in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Meanwhile, recovery efforts continue in parts of the southern Corn Belt in the wake of the recent tornado outbreak.

In the South, lingering showers stretch from Louisiana to South Carolina. Warmth throughout the region continues to promote rapid development of pastures and winter grains. In addition, fruit trees are budding and blooming across the Deep South at a faster-than-normal pace.

Outlook: Rain and snow showers will end later today across the Northeast. Meanwhile, a new storm will develop across the nation’s mid-section and lift northeastward, reaching the Great Lakes region on Friday. Before ending on Saturday, storm-total precipitation could reach an inch from the Great Lakes States into the Northeast and 1 to 3 inches in the Southeast. On Friday, snow will blanket parts of the Great Lakes region, while the Mid-South and lower Midwest should expect another round of severe thunderstorms. Early next week, in the storm’s wake, cold air will settle into the East, while warmth will develop across the western and central U.S. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for March 6-10 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures across the eastern two-thirds of the nation, while colder-than-normal weather will prevail in the West. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal precipitation across the northern two-thirds of the U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions across the nation’s southern tier.