In the West, isolated showers are confined to northern areas. Across most of the region, warm, dry weather favors spring fieldwork. However, warmth is also causing some premature melting of mountain snow packs.

On the Plains, below-normal temperatures persist in most areas, but mild air is starting to arrive on the High Plains. Producers across the southern half of the Plains are starting to assess the eff ects of the recent cold snap on winter wheat, which had begun to joint as far north as southern Kansas.

In the Corn Belt
, a cold weather pattern persists. In addition, a few snow showers linger downwind of the Great Lakes. In parts of the Midwest, this month’s temperatures have averaged more than 20°F below those observed during the record-setting warmth of March 2012.

In the South, freeze warnings are in effect this morning from the lower Mississippi Valley into the Southeast, excluding most of Florida’s peninsula. The ongoing cold wave continues to threaten emerged summer crops, such as corn and blooming fruits.

Outlook: Generally tranquil weather will continue until late in the week, when precipitation will develop across the nation’s mid-section and gradually spread into the East. Five-day precipitation totals could reach 1 to 2 inches across the southeastern Plains and the Mid-South, as well as the Pacific Northwest. There are early indications that a significant snow storm could unfold across the central Plains on April 1-2, followed by heavy rain in parts of the South. Early next week, another surge of very cold air will trail the storminess, particularly across the northern and central Plains and the Midwest. Before that happens, late-week warmth will expand across the remainder of West, briefly reaching the High Plains. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for April 1-5 calls for near- to below-normal temperatures from the Plains to the East Coast, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail in the West. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal precipitation across most of the country will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in the Northwest. Wet conditions will be most likely across the southern and eastern U.S.