In the West, cold weather is settling across of the region, with much-needed snow falling over the eastern Great Basin and central Rockies. Despite recent snowfall, mountain snowpacks from the Sierra Nevada into the central and southern Rockies remain unfavorably low, leading to bleak spring runoff prospects.

On the Plains, colder weather is replacing yesterday’s unseasonable warmth, particularly over the northern half of the region. Drought remains a concern for pastures and winter wheat from southern Kansas and southeastern Colorado into central and western Texas, where prospects for rain remain limited.

In the Corn Belt, warm, windy conditions in the Ohio Valley contrast with notably colder – albeit still windy – weather in western portions of the region. Today’s highs are expected to average up to 20°F above normal across the eastern half of the Corn Belt, accelerating early winter wheat development.

In the South, a few showers dot the northern Delta, while the rest of the south remains mostly dry and warm. Southeastern pastures are likely exhibiting some improvement after recent heavy rain, while drought continues to afflict central and southern Florida.

Outlook: A cold front will trigger light to moderate showers from the central Corn Belt into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Farther south, the tail end of the front will stall and interact with Gulf moisture, producing locally heavy rainfall over the southeastern Plains, Delta, and Tennessee Valley. However, only light rain is expected across the Southeast. Temperatures will briefly cool behind the front, although warmer-than-normal conditions will rapidly return to much of the nation by week’s end. Out west, snow in the central Rockies will shift south and diminish, while an approaching frontal system will bring showers to the Pacific Northwest over the weekend; the remainder of the west will be dry and increasingly warm. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for March 12-16 calls for warmer-thannormal weather across much of the contiguous U.S., with near- to below-normal temperatures confined to the Pacific Northwest. Meanwhile, drier-than-normal weather in the Northeast and Four Corners Region will contrast with above-normal precipitation across the Northwest and from the western Great Lakes southward into Texas.