In the West, a potent Pacific storm is producing rain and snow in northern California and the Pacific Northwest. The remainder of the West is experiencing dry, warmer weather in advance of the storm’s approach.

On the Plains, a storm system centered over the north-central U.S. is generating windy, rainy weather across parts of Montana and the Dakotas, providing relief from short-term dryness. A few thunderstorms are affecting the east-central Plains, while dry conditions prevail elsewhere.

In the Corn Belt, record-setting warmth has returned southern and western portions of the region. Today’s high temperatures will exceed 80°F as far north as the middle Mississippi Valley. In stark contrast, frost and freeze advisories are in effect this morning in the lower Great Lakes region, including Michigan, where producers are monitoring early-blooming fruit crops for signs of damage.

In the South, chilly weather lingers in the Appalachians and the Atlantic Coast States, but warm conditions prevail farther west. Frost advisories are in effect this morning in portions of Kentucky and North Carolina.

Outlook: A low-pressure system currently over the north-central U.S. will drift eastward, reaching the northern Atlantic Coast by early Thursday. As the storm departs, snow will subside today across the northern High Plains. During the mid- to late-week period, another weather system will move from the nation’s mid-section into the East. Meanwhile, rather unsettled weather will continue from northern and central California and the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies. In fact, 5-day precipitation totals could reach 4 to 8 inches in the Pacific Northwest. For the remainder of the week, the majority of the U.S. will continue to experience significantly above-normal temperatures. Exceptions will include areas along and near the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, where relatively cool weather will prevail. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for April 1-5 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal weather in the Mid-Atlantic region and southern New England. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with wetterthan- normal conditions in northern California and western Oregon.