USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, cool, mostly dry weather prevails in the wake of a cold front’s passage. A few snow showers linger across the Dakotas. Topsoil moisture shortages are apparent in drought-affected areas of the central and southern Plains; very short to short ratings include 55% in Kansas, 46% Colorado and 42% in Oklahoma.
In the West , a cool, mostly dry weather pattern is in place. Light precipitation is confined to the northern tier of the region, where scattered rain and snow showers stretch from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies.
In the Corn Belt, USDA states showers and a few strong thunderstorms linger across the Ohio Valley and the lower Great Lakes region. On Tuesday, an early-season severe weather outbreak across the central and eastern Corn Belt resulted in several tornadoes and local wind and hail damage. Meanwhile, a mix of rain and snow is falling across an area centered on Wisconsin and northern Michigan.
Satellite image with enhanced low cloud-top and ground temperatures for 6:45 a.m. EST (NOAA)
In the South, strong thunderstorms are racing eastward across the Tennessee Valley and environs, USDA notes. The remainder of the region continues to experience unusually warm weather, which is accelerating the development of winter grains and fruit crops. According to USDA/NASS, “ many (of Georgia’s) fruit crops were in full bloom ” by the end of February.
In its five-day outlook through March 5, USDA says that for the remainder of today, showers and locally severe thunderstorms will sweep across the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys and into the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States, with additional rainfall totaling as much as 1 to 2 inches. Markedly colder air will trail the rain into the Midwest and East, with weekend freezes possible as far south as Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. In contrast, warmth will return to the nation’s mid-section during the weekend and gradually expand eastward. Farther west, late-week storminess will return to the Northwest, with rain and snow spreading as far south as northern California during the weekend. Five-day precipitation totals could reach 2 to 6 inches or more in the Pacific Northwest, USDA states.