System Bringing Rain and Snow Moving into the Central and Northern Plains

Posted on 01/19/2018 10:32 AM

On the Plains, rain and snow showers have begun to develop across parts of Montana, USDA reports. Mild, dry weather covers the remainder of the nation’s mid-section. “Today’s high temperatures will top 70°F across portions of the central and southern High Plains, maintaining significant stress on poorly established winter wheat, which has also been subjected to intensifying drought and periods of extreme cold,” USDA details.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says mild air is arriving, starting across the upper Midwest. “The warmer-than-normal weather has begun to erode a widespread, generally shallow snow cover,” the department details. Early today, snow depths stood at 3 inches in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; Rockford, Illinois; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Dayton, Ohio, it elaborates.

In the West, USDA reports scattered rain and snow showers dot the northwestern half of the region. “In California, where cooler air is arriving, precipitation is falling as far south as the Sierra Nevada and the San Joaquin Valley. However, dry weather prevails in the Southwest, where high-elevation snowpack is abysmal,” USDA continues.

In the South, freeze warnings are in effect again early today, mainly across northern Florida and southern sections of Alabama and Georgia, according to USDA. However, temperatures in Florida’s citrus belt are not as low as those observed on Thursday morning, when protective measures were required for citrus, strawberries, and other freeze-sensitive crops, the department continues. “Elsewhere, rain showers are developing in the western Gulf Coast region,” USDA adds.

Looking out over the next five days, USDA says a gradual warming trend will continue through the weekend across the South, East, and Midwest. “Meanwhile, a storm system emerging from the western U.S. will produce significant snow across portions of the Intermountain West and Rockies, as well as the northern and central Plains and the upper Midwest,” USDA continues. During the weekend, showers and thunderstorms will erupt across the mid-South and environs. By early next week, USDA says heavy precipitation (rain and snow) will spread across the Northeast. “Elsewhere, five-day precipitation totals could reach 4 to 8 inches in the Pacific Northwest, but dry weather will persist on the southern High Plains,” USDA explains.

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