USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, patchy precipitation is developing from Nebraska northward. "Parts of Montana are receiving snow," USDA reports. Farther south, however, warm, breezy weather is resulting in an elevated to critical risk of wildfires on the southern High Plains, USDA continues. "On March 27, topsoil moisture was rated 48% very short to short in Kansas, along with 43% in Oklahoma and 40% in Texas," USDA elaborates.
In the West, USDA reports a significant spring snowfall continues across the northern Intermountain region. "Cool, breezy weather prevails throughout the region, except for mild conditions in the Pacific Northwest," USDA adds.
In the Corn Belt, USDA says dry weather prevails. "However, cool conditions in the Ohio Valley and the lower Great Lakes region contrast with above-normal temperatures in the upper Midwest," USDA adds.
In the South, USDA reports dry weather favors spring fieldwork, except in areas that remain wet from earlier rainfall. "For example, Mississippi’s corn was just 5% planted by March 27, compared to the five-year average of 29%," USDA explains. Similarly, Louisiana’s corn was 36% planted on March 27, versus the five-year average of 61%, USDA continues.
In its outlook, USDA says a storm system crossing the northern Intermountain West will reach Nebraska by mid-week and the Great Lakes region on Thursday. "Along the storm’s trailing cold front, heavy showers and locally severe thunderstorms could produce 2 to 4 inches of rain across the South," USDA explains. In contrast, USDA reports little rain will occur across the south-central U.S., where an enhanced risk of wildfires will persist. "Meanwhile, storm-total precipitation could reach 1 to 2 inches from the northern Intermountain West into the upper Great Lakes region, due to a mix of rain and wet snow," it elaborates. Elsewhere, mostly dry weather will accompany a rapid warming trend in the Far West, while a late-week surge of unusually cold air will arrive across the Great Lakes region, according to USDA.