In the West, unfavorably dry weather persists in most areas, especially from California into the Great Basin. A few snow showers linger across the northern and central Rockies, while colder air is arriving in the Northwest.
On the Plains, snow is falling in parts of Montana and the Dakotas. Meanwhile, warm, windy conditions cover the southern Plains, where there is an enhanced risk of wildfire activity. In addition, high winds are causing some blowing dust and visibility reductions on the southern High Plains.
In the Corn Belt, a band of precipitation stretches from the Dakotas into Illinois. Wet snow is blanketing parts of the upper Midwest, while light rain is falling in the middle Mississippi Valley.
In the South, very warm, dry weather favors early-spring fieldwork and the growth of pastures and winter grains. However, drought remains a concern in the southern Atlantic region, maintaining heavy irrigation demands in Florida’s citrus belt. In addition, more than half (52%) of Florida’s pastures were rated in very poor to poor condition on February 19, according to USDA.
Outlook: For the remainder of today, cold air will surge into the nation’s mid-section and the Northwest. During the weekend, colder air will settle across the Midwest, South, and East. Early next week, a new push of cold air will arrive across the northern Plains and upper Midwest, where some sub-zero temperatures can be expected on February 27-28. During the next 5 days, a series of storms will continue to produce generally light precipitation across the North and East. Widespread snow will fall from the Cascades to the northern Rockies. Late-week snow can also be expected from parts of the northern Corn Belt into New England. Meanwhile, generally dry weather will prevail from central and southern California to the southern Plains. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for February 28 – March 3 calls for below-normal temperatures in the West; near-normal temperatures in the nation’s mid-section; and warmer-than-normal weather in much of the East. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in the southern Atlantic region and from southern California to the southern High Plains.