Weather report: Weekend rain helps drought on the Plains

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In the West, dry weather prevails, except for some light snow in the northern Rockies. Cool weather lingers across much of the region, although warmth is returning to the Pacific Coast States.

On the Plains, cold, mostly dry weather prevails. This morning’s temperatures fell below 0°F in parts of the eastern Dakotas, where a deep snow cover exists. Weekend precipitation provided another round of beneficial moisture for rangeland, pastures, and winter wheat, especially on the central and southern Plains.

In the Corn Belt, warmth lingers across the Ohio Valley and the lower Great Lakes region, accompanied by widespread rain showers. Colder weather is returning to the remainder of the Midwest. Some light snow is falling from Iowa into Wisconsin.

In the South, a band of rain showers stretches from Kentucky to the central Gulf Coast. Elsewhere, warm, dry weather favors spring fieldwork in the southern Atlantic States, while cooler air is overspreading areas from the western Gulf Coast region to the Mississippi Delta.

Outlook: Early in the week, a cold front crossing the East will generate as much as 1 to 2 inches of rain. In the front’s wake, scattered snow showers will affect areas from the northern Plains to the northern and central Appalachians. Farther west, precipitation will be confined to the Northwest, while dry weather will prevail through week’s end from California to the central and southern Plains. Elsewhere, warmth will quickly expand across the West, reaching the High Plains by mid-week and the remainder of the nation’s mid-section toward week’s end. In contrast, chilly conditions will prevail in the East. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for March 16-20 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with cooler-than-normal conditions along the Pacific Coast , in southern Florida, and from the upper Mississippi Valley into the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States . Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation in California and across the South and East will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather from northern and central portions of the Rockies and Plains into the Midwest.

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