In the West, very warm weather favors fieldwork but is causing some premature melting of middle- and high-elevation snow packs. Patchy showers are confined to the northern tier of the region.

On the Plains, cold weather is confined to northeastern Montana and portions of the Dakotas. Elsewhere, unusually warm weather is promoting winter wh eat growth, especially in areas—such as the Texas’ northern panhandle, Oklahoma , and southern Kansas — that have received abundant precipitation in recent weeks. Today’s high temperatures will approach or reach 90°F on the southern High Plains.

In the Corn Belt, wintry precipitation (mostly snow and freezing rain) is spreading across the upper Midwest, including North Dakota and Minnesota. In stark contrast, warmth is arriving in the southwestern Corn Belt, including central and southern Missouri, where today’s high temperatures will range from 70 to 80°F.

In the South, frost advisories are in effect this morning across the lower Southeast, including much of southern Georgia and northern Florida. In contrast, warmth is spreading across the Mid-South. Dry weather is promoting Southern fieldwork, although unfavorably dry conditions persist across Florida’s peninsula.

Outlook: During the next several days, a colder weather pattern will become established across much of the nation. In particular, below-normal temperatures will cover the northern two-thirds of the U.S. by Sunday, although warmth will linger across the nation’s southern tier. By early next week, any lingering warmth will be generally limited to the Southwest. Meanwhile, a series of disturbances will maintain unsettled conditions from the Northwest to the Midwest , as well as much of the East. During the next 5 days, precipitation totals could reach 1 to 2 inches in parts of the Northwest and from the Ohio Valley into the Northeast. In contrast, little or no precipitation will occur across Florida’s peninsula and from central and southern California to the lower Mississippi Valley. The NWS 6-to 10-day outlook for March 20-24 calls for near-to below-normal temperatures nationwide, except for warmer-than- normal weather across the Deep South. Meanwhile, above-normal precipitation in most areas along and northeast of a line from Montana to Mississippi will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions from California to Texas.