In the West, near- to below-normal temperatures persist. A frost advisory is in effect again this morning across parts of California’s San Joaquin Valley. Precipitation associated with a developing storm system is confined to southern portions of Arizona and New Mexico, as most of the West continues to brace for drought development or intensification and the prospect of significantly below-normal spring and summer runoff.
On the Plains, rain is returning to parts of Texas, where sustained heavy precipitation is still needed to eradicate record-setting drought. Meanwhile, mild, dry weather covers the northern and central Plains.
In the Corn Belt, mild, mostly dry weather prevails. From the Ohio Valley into the lower Great Lakes region, soggy soils and frequent freeze-thaw cycles remain a concern with respect to the soft red winter wheat crop.
In the South, a broken band of showers stretches from Texas to northern Florida. The rain across the Deep South is providing beneficial moisture for pastures and winter grains. However, most of Florida’s peninsula remains extremely dry, resulting in heavy irrigation demands for citrus and other winter crops.
Outlook: A developing storm over the Rio Grande Valley will reach the western and central Gulf Coast States on Saturday and the southern Mid-Atlantic Coast on Sunday. Storm-total rainfall of 2 to 4 inches will provide drought relief from eastern Texas to the Carolinas, but only light rain will dampen Florida’s peninsula. Farther north, it is becoming increasingly likely that heavy, wet snow will fall on Sunday from the central Appalachians to the Mid- Atlantic Coast. Elsewhere, late-week precipitation will spread from the Pacific Northwest to the Intermountain West, with significant snow possible at higher elevations. However, little or no precipitation will fall in California. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for February 22-26 calls for near- to below-normal temperatures nationwide, except for warmer-than-normal weather in the lower Great Lakes region and the Atlantic Coast States. Meanwhile, nearto above-normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions from California to the southern High Plains.