Weather report: Cold and breezy in the Corn Belt

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In the West, warm weather continues to expand across the Pacific Coast States, while cold conditions cover the southern Rockies. Continuing a troubling trend that began in early 2013, most areas from the Rockies westward are experiencing dry weather.

On the Plains, mostly dry weather accompanies below-normal temperatures. Winter grains across both the northern and southern Plains are benefiting from recent topsoil moisture improvements, but recent storms have bypassed the central High Plains. In addition, subsoil moisture shortages remain a concern throughout the nation’s mid-section.

In the Corn Belt, cold, breezy weather prevails in the wake of a cold front’s passage. This morning’s temperatures fell below 0°F in parts of the eastern Dakotas and northern and central Minnesota.

In the South, showers linger across Florida’s peninsula, where widespread, 1- to 2-inch rainfall totals have provided drought relief and eased irrigation demands. Elsewhere, cool, dry weather prevails. Some lowland flooding persists in the central Gulf Coast region, including along the Pearl River in southern Mississippi.

Outlook: A weekend storm will threaten portions of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern States with snow, while rain and snow showers will spread inland from the Pacific Northwest to the northern High Plains. Sharply colder air will trail the Eastern storm, with freezes possible during the weekend as far south as the central portion of Florida’s peninsula. In contrast, weekend temperatures will rebound to above-normal levels across the nation’s mid-section. Early next week, a new storm will take aim across the eastern half of the U.S., with snow expected in parts of the Midwest and rain in the South and East. Meanwhile, bitterly cold air will overspread the northern Plains and the upper Midwest. In the West, precipitation will spread farther south into California and the Great Basin. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for February 20-24 calls for near- to below-normal temperatures nationwide, except for warmer-than-normal weather across the lower Southeast. Meanwhile, above-normal precipitation in most areas from the Plains to the East Coast will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions across Florida’s peninsula and from the Pacific Coast into parts of the Southwest.

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