Weather report: Winter storm winds down on the Plains

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In the West, cool, mostly dry weather prevails. Isolated snow showers are mostly confined to the central Rockies.

On the Plains, a winter storm is winding down, a lthough wind-driven snow lingers across eastern Kansas. In the storm’s wake, travel disruptions are easing and stress on livestock is decreasing. Current snow depths, which include accumulations from both the February 20-21 and 25-26 storms, are 11 inches in Wichita, Kansas; 7 inches in Enid, Oklahoma; and 3 inches in Lubbock, Texas.

In the Corn Belt, the dividing line between rain and snow stretches across the middle Mississippi Valley. Rain is falling in the Ohio Valley , while snow is currently confined to parts of Missouri , southern Iowa , and northern Illinois. Winter storm warnings are in effect across northern and western Missouri and neighboring areas.

In the South, heavy showers and locally severe thunderstorms are sweeping across the southern Atlantic States. Rain is moving into the northern part of Florida’s citrus belt , which has trended very dry in recent months. Florida’s pastures were rated 45% in very poor to poor condition on February 24, while topsoil moisture was rated 52% very short to short.

Outlook: A cold weather regime across much of the U.S. will be replaced by warm conditions in the West late in the week. During the weekend, above-normal temperatures will also overspread the High Plains. Meanwhile, the storm currently centered over Missouri will drift into the lower Great Lakes region by Wednesday and across the Northeast on Thursday. Additional precipitation could reach 1 to 2 inches from the eastern Corn Belt into the Atlantic Coast States. Meanwhile, lowland flooding will gradually subside from the central Gulf Coast region into the lower Southeast . Elsewhere, generally light precipitation will be confined to areas from the Pacific Northwest to the Rockies. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for March 3-7 calls for below-normal temperatures from the central and southern Plains eastward to th e middle and southern Atlantic States, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail in northern Maine and the western U.S. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal precipitation across the majority of the nation will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in the northern Plains and upper Midwest .

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