USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, warm, dry, windy conditions are leading to an elevated to critical risk of wildfires from eastern Colorado and western Kansas southward. In contrast, cold weather covers the northern Plains, accompanied by a few snow showers. Snow from the recent storm remains on the ground in much of Nebraska and environs.
In the West, USDA says scattered, generally light rain and snow showers cover the northwestern half of the region, including northern and central California. Cold weather prevails throughout the West. Nevertheless, large reservoir releases in northern and central California are resulting in high river levels and local flooding.
In the Corn Belt, USDA says a return of mild weather is helping to melt the Feb. 23-24 snowfall across the upper Midwest. Mild weather also covers the remainder of the Corn Belt, while a few rain showers are spreading across the Ohio Valley.
Satellite image with enhanced low cloud-top temperatures for 6:45 a.m. EST (NOAA)
In the South, USDA reports showers and a few thunderst orms stretch from the Tennessee Valley to the Mississippi Delta. Elsewhere, warm weather is promoting early-season fieldwork and a rapid development pace for winter grains and fruit crops. Resurgent drought is a concern in a few areas, including the southern Appalachians.
In its outlook through March 3, USDA says that during the first half of the week, widespread precipitation will occur across from the Mississippi Valley eastward. Accumulating snow should be limited to the upper Great Lakes region, while rainfall could total 1 to 3 inches from the lower Great Lakes region southward to the central Gulf Coast. Locally severe thunderstorms may accompany the rain, especially across the mid-South. Meanwhile, a cold weather pattern in the western U.S. will begin to break down, with above-normal temperatures returning to the Southwest late in the week. Prior to the transition, early-to mid-week precipitation could total 1 to 3 inches in parts of the Southwest. Following today’s showers, dry weather should prevail for the remainder of the week in northern and central California. Elsewhere, mostly dry weather should continue through the end of the week across the central and southern Plains.