USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, drought-easing rain is falling across parts of Kansas, Oklahoma and eastern Texas. "Some frozen precipitation, including sleet, is occurring along the northern and western edge of the developing storm," USDA reports. However, significant precipitation has already bypassed the central and southern High Plains, USDA adds. "Farther north, very cold weather persists in the eastern Dakotas, but mild air is overspreading the northern High Plains, " USDA continues.
In the West, USDA says rain and snow showers are confined to the Intermountain region. "Meanwhile in California and the Northwest, warm, dry weather is promoting spring fieldwork and winter wheat growth," USDA continues.
In the Corn Belt, USDA says unusually cold conditions persist. "This morning’s low temperatures generally ranged from around 10°F in the far upper Midwest to near the freezing mark (32°F) in the lower Ohio Valley," USDA elaborates. A year ago, on March 31, 2012, corn planting was 6% complete in Missouri, where negligible corn was planted in March 2013, USDA reports.
In the South, USDA reports rain is gradually overspreading areas west of the Mississippi River. "By the end of March, corn planting was 95% complete in Louisiana and 22% complete in Arkansas, while emergence in those two states was 49% and 3%, respectively," USDA explains. Meanwhile, cool, dry weather prevails in the Southeast, USDA adds.
In its outlook, USDA says a storm system currently affecting the south-central U.S. will drift eastward, reaching the southern Atlantic Coast by Friday. Storm-total rainfall could reach 1 to 3 inches from the southeastern Plains to the southern Atlantic states, with locally higher amounts possible along the Gulf Coast, according to USDA. "A warming trend will follow the storm, with near- to above-normal temperatures expected nearly nationwide by week’s end," USDA elaborates. "Cold weather will linger, however, across the nation’s northern tier from the Dakotas eastward, accompanied by late-week rain and snow showers," USDA explains. Elsewhere, showery weather will overspread the Northwest on April 4 and persist for several days, USDA continues.