USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, mild, dry weather prevails. Across the southern Plains, pastures and winter grains are benefiting from recent topsoil moisture improvements, following a nearly two-month spell of mostly dry weather, according to USDA.
In the West, USDA reports dry weather accompanies a warming trend. "Cool conditions linger, however, across the central and southern Rockies. In California and the Desert Southwest, warm weather favors fieldwork and crop growth," USDA continues.
In the Corn Belt, USDA says rainy, windy conditions prevail across the Ohio Valley and are spreading into the lower Great Lakes region. "Along the northwestern fringe of the precipitation shield, stretching from Missouri to Michigan, frozen precipitation (snow and sleet) is developing and becoming heavier," USDA details.
In the South, portions of the central Gulf Coast region are cleaning up in the wake of Tuesday’s severe weather outbreak, which included several tornadoes, USDA reports. "Currently, showers and thunderstorms are affecting the interior Southeast and the southern Atlantic States, while a rain-snow mix is falling in the mid-South," it continues.
In its outlook, USDA says for the remainder of today, a significant winter storm will unfold from the middle Mississippi Valley into the lower Great Lakes region. "Blizzard warnings are in effect for parts of eastern Illinois and northwestern Indiana, where wet, wind-driven snow could cause major travel and electrical disruptions," USDA reports. Farther south, USDA says heavy rain could cause flooding in parts of the Ohio Valley and in the central and southern Appalachians and adjacent foothills, while strong thunderstorms will sweep across the southern Atlantic Coast. "Snow showers and windy conditions will linger through Thursday across the lower Great Lakes region and the Northeast," USDA explains. Elsewhere, warmth will return to the western and central U.S., with record-setting high temperatures overspreading the Plains during the weekend, according to USDA. "Toward week’s end, wet weather will return to the Northwest, while dry weather will cover the nation’s southwestern quadrant," USDA continues.