Weather report: Mild and dry on the central, southern Plains

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In the West, mostly dry weather prevails. Although recent storms have provided the West with beneficial moisture, drought-related concerns persist in much of the Great Basin and the Southwest.

On the Plains, bitterly cold weather is confined to the eastern Dakotas. Elsewhere, mild, dry weather prevails. The health of the Plains’ hard red winter wheat crop remains threatened by poor establishment, ongoing drought, and exposure to potential weather extremes.

In the Corn Belt, the latest in a series of “Alberta clippers” is producing light snow across central and eastern portions of the region. Current snow depths include 6 inches in Rockford, Illinois, and Grand Rapids, Michigan. In the wake of the “clipper” system, bitterly cold, windy conditions prevail. This morning’s temperatures fell below 0°F in the far upper Midwest.

In the South, scattered showers accompany mild weather west of the Delta, but chilly conditions persist in the southern Atlantic States. Although much of the South has received substantial rain in recent weeks, the southern Atlantic region—especially Florida’s peninsula—remains dry.

Outlook: Chilly conditions will persist for the remainder of the week from the Great Lakes States into the Northeast, accompanied by widespread snow showers, but most other areas east of the Rockies will experience above-normal temperatures. Meanwhile, a gradual warming trend will affect much of the West. During the second half of the week, generally light precipitation will affect the eastern one-third of the U.S., while widespread snow showers will fall across the Intermountain West. Toward week’s end, some precipitation may begin to break out across the nation’s mid-section, including the drought-affected Great Plains. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for February 9-13 calls for above-normal temperatures across the eastern half of the U.S., while colder-than-normal conditions will prevail from the Pacific Coast to the central and southern High Plains. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation in southern Florida and much of the West will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in most areas from the Plains to the East Coast.

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