A more typical, mid-winter look or feel across much of the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, colder air is replacing previously mild conditions.  In addition, light snow is affecting the southwestern Corn Belt.  Farther north, a band of snow cover from an earlier event stretches from South Dakota to Upper Michigan.  Friday’s high temperatures will remain below 20°F in the far upper Midwest; with Fargo, North Dakota, expected to experience its first day with a maximum reading below the 20-degree mark since January 20.  

On the Plains, lingering warmth is limited to Texas, excluding the state’s northern panhandle.  Meanwhile, Friday’s high temperatures will remain below 32°F throughout the northern Plains, a rarity in an otherwise abnormally warm winter.  In addition, parts of the northern Plains have received snow this week, with Huron, South Dakota, measuring 7.7 inches on February 14.  The snow, which early Friday has shifted southward across portions of the central Plains, is providing winter wheat with beneficial moisture and insulation. 

In the South, rain in southern Texas is slowing fieldwork but improving topsoil moisture for recently planted corn and sorghum.  The remainder of the region is experiencing mild, dry weather, with Friday’s high temperatures expected to approach 80°F across Florida’s peninsula. 

In the West, a band of precipitation generally stretching from Oregon to Wyoming is helping to build high-elevation snowpack.  However, there is an area farther north, along and near the Canadian border, where basin-average snowpack  is only about 50 to 75% of normal for mid-February.  In contrast, the average water equivalency of the Sierra Nevada snowpack has improved to nearly 15 inches, slightly greater than 75% of normal for this time of year, according to the California Department of Water Resources.  

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