USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, a brief but pronounced warm up is melting some of the protective snowcover, especially in areas where it was shallow (western portions of Nebraska and Kansas as well as eastern Colorado).
In the West, USDA says rain and snow are expanding across the region’s northern tier with a blizzard warning in affect across North Dakota. "In contrast, unfavorably warm, dry weather is maintaining moderate to extreme drought from California into the Great Basin and Southwest," USDA reports.
In the Corn Belt, USDA reports cold weather is maintaining stress on livestock, particularly across the Upper Midwest. "Temperatures were just below 0°F in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin with dangerously colder weather on the way," USDA details.
In the South, USDA explains dry albeit cold conditions prevail across much of the region, allowing producers to resume seasonal fieldwork following recent heavy rain. "However, lingering showers along a cold front are easing short- term dryness in Florida," USDA adds.
In its outlook, USDA says strong gusty winds and cold weather will continue through Friday over the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast in the wake of a Nor’easter, while snow gradually diminishes in New England. "On the Plains, today’s warm up will be short-lived, as a strong cold front will be followed by temperatures averaging 20°F to 40°F below normal over the weekend," according to USDA. This arctic blast is expected to overspread much of the central and eastern U.S. by early next week, including the Gulf Coast, USDA explains. "A wave of low pressure along the arctic front may generate snow as far south as the northern Delta, with rain and snow accompanying the front as it marches toward the East Coast by Monday," USDA continues. Out west, USDA says upslope snow is expected in the central and northern Rockies, rain and mountain snow diminish in the Northwest. "In contrast, unfavorably dry conditions will persist from the Southwest to the southern Plains," USDA reports.