USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, dry weather prevails, except for snow showers across northern areas. "Cool weather on the northern High Plains contrasts with very warm conditions farther south," USDA adds. Today's high temperature could reach 85°F in central Texas and will exceed 70°F as far north as southern Kansas, USDA explains. "Across the southern half of the Plains, rangeland and pastures have not recovered from last year's historic drought; at the end of February, 67% were rated in very poor to poor condition in Oklahoma, along with 59% in Texas and 54% in Kansas," according to USDA.
In the West, USDA says chilly conditions prevail. "Scattered rain and snow showers are falling as far south as northern California and the Intermountain West," USDA says, continuing, "However, spring and summer runoff prospects remain bleak, except in the Rockies and across the northern tier of the region."
In the Corn Belt, some snow remains on the ground across the northern tier of the region, with a 2-inch depth noted this morning in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, according to USDA. Meanwhile, USDA says recovery efforts continue in parts of the southern Corn Belt in the wake of the recent tornado outbreak.
In the South, USDA says lingering showers stretch from Louisiana to South Carolina. "Warmth throughout the region continues to promote rapid development of pastures and winter grains," USDA reports. In addition, fruit trees are budding and blooming across the Deep South at a faster-than-normal pace, according to USDA.
USDA's outlook says rain and snow showers will end later today across the Northeast. "Meanwhile, a new storm will develop across the nation’s mid-section and lift northeastward, reaching the Great Lakes region on Friday," USDA explains. Before ending on Saturday, storm-total precipitation could reach an inch from the Great Lakes States into the Northeast and 1 to 3 inches in the Southeast, according to USDA. "On Friday, snow will blanket parts of the Great Lakes region, while the Mid-South and lower Midwest should expect another round of severe thunderstorms," USDA says. Early next week in the storm’s wake, USDA reports cold air will settle into the East, while warmth will develop across the western and central U.S.