In the West, much-needed rain is spreading inland across California’s coast. However, the state’s key watershed areas, including the Sierra Nevada, remain dry. Cool, dry weather covers the remainder of the West.

On the Plains, colder weather prevails. However, light snow is providing winter wheat with beneficial moisture and insulation across parts of the central and southern High Plains, mainly from Texas’ northern panhandle into southern Nebraska. In Texas, the lingering effect of a record-setting drought remains apparent in crop conditions, with 43% of the winter wheat and 64% of the rangeland and pastures rated in very poor to poor condition on February 5, according to USDA.

In the Corn Belt, a mild weather pattern continues, although colder air is approaching from the west.

In the South, isolated showers are confined to Florida and scattered locations west of the Mississippi Delta. Elsewhere, mild, dry weather is promoting the growth of pastures and winter grains, except where moisture levels are inadequate to support normal development. In Florida, for example, nearly two-thirds (64%) of the pastures were rated in very poor to poor condition on February 5, according to USDA.

Outlook: On February 7-8, a weak storm system currently over the nation’s mid-section will drift eastward, producing a band of light snow from the central Plains to the northern Mid-Atlantic States. Meanwhile, beneficial precipitation will end later today in California, where the heaviest rain will be confined to coastal locations. Elsewhere, significant precipitation during the next 5 days will be limited to the Pacific Northwest and southern portions of Texas and Florida. Toward week’s end, a surge of sharply colder air will invade the Midwest and much of the East, while temperatures will rebound to above-normal levels in the West. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for February 12-16 calls for colder-than-normal weather west of the Rockies, while near- to above-normal temperatures will prevail from the Plains to the East Coast. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal precipitation across the majority of the nation will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions from the south-central U.S. into the middle and lower Mississippi Valley.