Weather report: Cool and breezy in the Corn Belt

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In the West, mild weather is returning to the Pacific Coast States. Elsewhere, dry weather and below-normal temperatures prevail.

On the Plains, cool, breezy conditions prevail in the wake of a departing storm. Despite recent precipitation, more than four-fifths of the rangeland and pastures were rated very poor to poor on February 24 in Kansas (83%) and Oklahoma (82%). On the same date, a substantial percentage of the winter wheat was rated very poor to poor in South Dakota (66%), Oklahoma (54%), Nebraska (50%), Texas (45%), and Kansas (36%).

In the Corn Belt, wind-driven snow showers linger across a broad area from the lower Missouri Valley into the lower Great Lakes region. Current snow depths include 10 inches in Kansas City, Missouri; 9 inches in Des Moines, Iowa; and 5 inches in Rockford, Illinois, and Pontiac, Michigan. Meanwhile, a few rain showers dot the Ohio Valley.

In the South, cool, dry weather follows recent heavy rainfall. However, some lowland flooding persists from the central Gulf Coast region in to central and southern Georgia and northern Florida. Currently, showers are confined to the southern tip of Florida. Across the remainder of Florida’s peninsula, Tuesday’s showers helped to temporarily ease irrigation demands.

Outlook: A weakening storm system currently centered over the lower Great Lakes region will drift east of New England by Friday. Snow will gradually subside across the Midwest , while additional precipitation could exceed an inch in parts of the Northeast . In the storm’s wake, little or no precipitation will fall during the next 5 days across the southern half of the U.S. , except for some lingering showers in southern Florida . Meanwhile, precipitation will develop in the Northwest , especially during the weekend. By early next week, snow may reach the northern High Plains . The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for March 4-8 calls for near- to below-normal temperatures nationwide, except for warmer-than-normal weather in northern Maine and west of the Rockies . Meanwhile, above-normal precipitation across the northern and central Plains and the western Corn Belt will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in the Southeast and from southern California to the southern Rockies .

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