In the West, rain and high-elevation snow showers dot the northern half of the region, although the heaviest precipitation is confined to the Pacific Northwest. Meager mountain snow packs remains a major concern in several areas, especially from the Sierra Nevada into the Great Basin.
On the Plains, significantly above-normal temperatures are maintaining concerns about the hardiness of the winter wheat crop. On January 29, the portion of the Plains’ winter wheat crop rated in good to excellent condition ranged from 25% in South Dakota to 65% in Nebraska. In Montana, only 26% of the wheat was rated good to excellent, compared to 73% at the same time a year ago.
In the Corn Belt, unusually warm weather prevails. Today’s high temperatures will range from 40°F across the northern Corn Belt to near 60°F in the Ohio Valley. In Illinois, 75% of the wheat crop was rated in good to excellent condition on January 29. In Ohio, however, January freezes and thaws have “contributed to the deterioration of the winter wheat conditions from last fall,” according to USDA.
In the South, showers and thunderstorms stretch from the central Gulf Coast into the Appalachians. Meanwhile, warm, unfavorably dry conditions persist in the southern Atlantic region.
Outlook: For the remainder of today, rain showers will fall across the South and East, while snow will be confined to northern Maine. Rain will linger into Thursday in parts of the Mid-Atlantic region. Meanwhile, a new storm will develop across the West, delivering beneficial snow to the northern and central Rockies. On Thursday and Friday, precipitation will develop across the central and southern Plains, with heavy snow possible in parts of Nebraska, eastern Colorado, and northwestern Kansas. During the weekend, snow may overspread the western Corn Belt, while rain will develop across the South and lower Midwest. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for February 6-10 calls for above-normal temperatures across the northern Plains and the West, while colder-thannormal weather will prevail in the Southeast. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in the Great Lakes region and southern and western portions of Texas.