USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, warmer weather is returning to the region, with today’s highs expected to average 5°F to 10°F above normal. "The recent sharp temperature fluctuations are generally unfavorable for winter wheat, which remains partially exposed to the elements in northern Montana due to a shallow, patchy snowcover," USDA explains.
In the West, USDA says snow over the northern Rockies continues to improve spring runoff prospects, although snowpacks remain unfavorably low in the central and southern Rockies. "Dry, milder weather elsewhere is favoring fieldwork," USDA adds.
In the Corn Belt, USDA says bitter cold weather is stressing livestock, although the coldest conditions are west and north of primary winter wheat areas.
In the South, cold, dry conditions are settling over the region behind a strong cold front, according to USDA. "Recent rain bypassed Florida and the lower Southeast, where drought remains a concern," it continues.
In its outlook USDA says Arctic high pressure will bring below-normal temperatures to the eastern half of the nation. "Within this chilly air mass, bitter cold conditions (up to 25°F below normal) are expected from the upper Midwest into the Ohio Valley," USDA explains. A series of weak disturbances will maintain periods of light snow across the northeastern quarter of the nation, while mostly dry, increasingly mild conditions prevail from the Plains to the Pacific Coast, according to USDA.