USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, beneficial precipitation continues across portions of Oklahoma and Texas. In parts of Texas’ northern panhandle, rain has changed to wet snow. Meanwhile, mild weather continues across the northern Plains, where most winter wheat production areas no longer have a protective snow cover.
In the West, dry weather prevails between storms, except for lingering snow showers in the southern Rockies. Near-to above-normal temperatures cover the region, except for chilly conditions in the southern Rockies and across snow-covered sections of the interior Northwest.
Satellite image with enhanced low cloud-top and ground temperatures for 6:45 a.m. EST (NOAA)
In the Corn Belt, USDA reports all but the northern tier (from parts of the Dakotas to northern Lower Michigan ) remains free of snow. Currently, mild, dry, breezy weather prevails.
In the South, a band of rain stretches from Kentucky to Arkansas. In contrast, warm, dry weather from the central Gulf Coast region into the Southeast continues to promote early-season fieldwork. However, the warmth is also accelerating the development of winter grains and fruit crops, raising concerns about vulnerability to potential spring freezes.
In its five-day outlook through Feb. 18, USDA says a storm system currently centered over the south-central U.S. will drift eastward and weaken. Never-the-less, additional rainfall across the South could total an inch or more in a few locations. Meanwhile, snow will briefly return to parts of the Northeast — especially New England — by mid-week. Farther west, mild, dry weather will prevail for the remainder of the week across the northern half of the Plains and much of the Midwest. In the West, however, stormy weather will overspread California on Thursday, followed by additional, locally heavy rain and snow during the weekend. Five-day precipitation totals could reach 2 to 6 inches in northern and central California, with isolated totals near 10 inches possible in coastal southern California. Significant precipitation (locally 4 to 12 inches) will also fall in the Pacific Northwest.