Heavy Precip Returns to California

Posted on 03/09/2017 10:19 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, cold, mostly dry weather prevails. Snow showers are confined to western Nebraska and environs. The southern half of the region is devoid of snow cover, while at least one-fifth of the winter wheat crop is currently rated in very poor to poor condition in Texas (27%), Colorado (21%) and Kansas (20%).

In the West, wet weather is returning to northern and central California, USDA reports. As snow arrives in the Sierra Nevada, the California Department of Water Resources reports that the average water content of the high-elevation snowpack stands at 30 inches — slightly above the April 1 historical average. Wintry precipitation is also falling in the northern Intermountain West, which has endured a very difficult (e.g. cold, snowy) winter.

In the Corn Belt, cold, breezy weather has replaced previously mild conditions. Snow showers are mostly limited to areas downwind of the Great Lakes, USDA notes.

In the South, a few rain showers are developing from the western Gulf Coast to the southern Appalachians. Cooler air is arriving, but warmth lingers in the Atlantic Coast States and across the Deep South, USDA states.

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Satellite image with enhanced low cl oud - top and ground temperatures for 6:45 a m. EST (NOAA)

In its five-day outlook through Feb. 6, USDA says northern and central California and the Northwest will be the focus for heavy precipitation, including substantial snow in areas already hit hard by a cold, stormy winter. Five-day totals could reach 2 to 10 inches in northern and central California and 1 to 5 inches in the Northwest. The Sierra Nevada, which received more than a year’s worth of snow during the first 4 months (October 2016 – January 2017) of the Western water year, will experience another set of significant storms. In contrast, dry weather will prevail through the weekend in the Southwest and large sections of the Plains. Periods of light precipitation will occur across the eastern half of the U.S., but 5-day totals will be largely an inch or less. Meanwhile, a short-lived surge of colder air will cover the U.S., except the Deep South. Late in the weekend, however, temperatures will rebound to above-normal levels nearly nationwide, USDA states.


 

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