USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, a cold air is settling across Montana and the Dakotas, accompanied by some snow along and near the Canadian border. Warm, dry, breezy weather covers the remainder of the nation’s mid-section, despite an increase in cloudiness. An elevated to critical risk of wildfires exists today across the southern High Plains.
In the West, USDA reports widespread rain and snow showers stretch from the Pacific Coast States to the northern Rockies. The West , as a whole, continues to experience drought recovery, with regional drought coverage (currently 13%, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor) at its lowest level since Februry 2011.
In the Corn Belt, USDA says cold weather lingers across the northern tier of the region. Farther south, mild, increasingly breezy weather prevails well in advance of an approaching Western storm system.
Satellite image with enhanced low cloud-top temperatures for 6:45 a.m. EST (NOAA)
In the South, warm, dry weather prevails, except for a band of showers stretching from western Tennessee to northern Alabama. Spring is arriving early across the Deep South, promoting grass growth but leading to concerns that some fruit crops could be vulnerable to potential spring freezes, USDA notes.
In its outlook through Feb. 10, USDA says exceptionally stormy weather will persist across much of California and the Northwest, with precipitation — including high-elevation snow — arriving in several waves. Five-day precipitation totals could reach 4 to 12 inches or more in northern and central California, 2 to 8 inches in the Pacific Northwest, and 2 to 4 inches in the northern and central Rockies. In contrast, the Desert Southwest and the southern half of the Plains will experience dry weather. Meanwhile, a strong cold front will cross the eastern half of the U.S., preceded and accompanied by widespread precipitation (locally an inch or more). Cold air will arrive across the northern Plains early in the week and surge across the Midwest at mid-week. By week’s end, however, temperatures will return to (or remain at) above-normal levels across most of the nation, USDA states.