Weather report: Dry air moves into the central Plains

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In the West, rain and snow shower activity is increasing across the northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest in advance of an approaching storm. Meanwhile, cool, dry weather prevails from California into the Southwest .

On the Plains, snow lingers across northern areas , but dry weather has returned to the remainder of the region. Wednesday’s precipitation was highly beneficial for rangeland, pastures, and winter wheat across the central and southern Plains . On the central Plains , however, most of the precipitation fell as snow, causing travel disruptions and stressing livestock.

In the Corn Belt, snow is falling, except for some rain in the Ohio Valley . Precipitation is helping to replenish topsoil moisture, although significant subso il moisture shortages persist in the western Corn Belt .

In the South, showers and thunderstorms are sweeping across areas east of the Delta , although Florida’s peninsula remains warm and dry. Cooler, drier air is moving into the western and central Gulf Coast States .

Outlook: A storm system currently centered over the Midwest will drift northward and gradually weaken, although active weather will continue into the weekend along the storm’ s trailing cold front. As a result, snow will subside across the Midwest , but locally heavy rain will continue in the Southeast . During the weekend, a developing coastal storm may produce rain, snow, and wind along the middle and northern Atlantic Coast . Meanwhile, Pacific storminess will continue to spread inland, reaching the Rockies during the weekend. Early next week, snow will return to portions of the Plains and Midwest , while additional rain will develop across the South . The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for February 27 - March 3 calls for above-normal temperatures in much of the West and across the nation’s northern tier , while colder-than-normal conditions will prevail from the central and southern Plains to the middle and southern Atlantic States . Meanwhile, near- to below-normal pr ecipitation across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather along the Atlantic Seaboard and in the Pacific Northwest .

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