A pattern shift ahead for much of the Heartland

A final surge of unusually cold air will engulf areas east of the Rockies through mid-week, followed by rapid warming. Meanwhile, mid- to late-week temperatures will fall to near- or below-normal levels across much of the West. Before the central and eastern U.S. begins to warm, frost and freezes will continue to threaten crops during the next couple of nights in parts of the Midwest, Ohio Valley, Appalachians, and northern and middle Atlantic States.

During the first half of the week, generally light to moderately heavy showers will be mostly limited to the Plains, mid-South, and Northwest. Later, precipitation will continue across portions of the Plains and spread into the Midwest, with 5-day totals possibly exceeding 3 inches from the east-central Plains into the lower Great Lakes region.

In contrast, mostly dry weather will prevail through week’s end in the Southwest and from northern Florida to Virginia.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- or above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions in northern and central California, the Great Basin, and the Northwest.

Meanwhile, near- or above-normal rainfall across most of the country should contrast with drier-than-normal weather in the southern Rockies.

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