In the West, cool weather lingers across the Pacific Coast States, but markedly warmer air covers the remainder of the region.

On the Plains, record-setting warmth has returned to the northern half of the region, where today’s high temperatures will approach 80°F. Meanwhile, dry weather prevails across the southern half of the region, following the recent storm that provided drought relief on the southern High Plains but caused some flooding on the southeastern Plains.

In the Corn Belt, unusually warm weather continues, despite widespread showers. Some of the heaviest rain is falling from the upper Great Lakes region southeastward into the lower Ohio Valley. Winter wheat and fruit crops continue to develop at a significantly faster-than-normal pace.

In the South, a band of showers and thunderstorms stretches from the Tennessee Valley to the central Gulf Coast, but rain has not yet reached some of the driest areas of the Southeast. In the wake of recent downpours, localized lowland flooding lingers from the western Gulf Coast region into the lower Mississippi Valley.

Outlook: During the next 5 days, unusually warm weather will prevail nearly nationwide. Chilly conditions will be confined to areas along and near the Pacific Coast until early next week, when cooler weather will overspread the Northeast. Meanwhile, a slow-moving storm currently centered over the Mid-South will drift eastward, reaching the Mid-Atlantic States during the weekend. Additional rainfall associated with the storm could reach 1 to 2 inches from the eastern Gulf Coast States (excluding Florida’s peninsula) into the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic region. Farther west, rain and snow showers will overspread California during the weekend and much of the remainder of the West early next week. Beneficial precipitation will also develop early next week across the northern Plains and upper Midwest. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for March 28 – April 1 calls for a continuation of warmer-thannormal weather nationwide, except for near- to below-normal temperatures in New England, southern portions of Florida and Texas, and the Pacific Coast States. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal precipitation in the majority of the U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions across the High Plains and the Southeast. Contact: Brad Rippey, Agricultural Meteorologist, USDA/OCE/WAOB, Washington, D.C. (202-720-2397) Web Site: http://www.usda.gov/oce/weather/pubs/Daily/TODAYSWX.pdf