A wide-range of weather (stormy for some) & temps cover the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, snow is blanketing portions of the Great Lakes region, while mixed precipitation—mostly wet snow and freezing rain—is affecting the upper Mississippi Valley.  A sharp temperature gradient exists across the Midwest, with Friday’s highs expected to range from near 32°F in the upper Great Lakes region to 70°F in the middle Mississippi Valley.

On the Plains, chilly weather across the northern half of the region contrasts with lingering warmth in Oklahoma and Texas.  Patchy, light snow is falling across Montana and the Dakotas, as one storm system departs the northern Plains and another approaches.  On March 20-21, snowfall from the initial storm totaled 5.7 inches in Glasgow, Montana, and 4.3 inches in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

In the South, warm weather favors pasture growth and the development of winter grains.  However, rain is slowing fieldwork in several areas, including the lower Mississippi Valley and the southern Atlantic States.  Heading into the growing season, unfavorably dry conditions have been nearly eradicated from the South, based on U.S. Drought Monitor statistics, with statewide drought coverage exceeding 10% only in Tennessee and Mississippi.

In the West, a cold front approaching the northern Pacific Coast is producing precipitation as far south as northwestern California.  Warm, dry weather covers the remainder of the western U.S.  In the Desert Southwest, where planting of summer crops such as cotton is underway, Friday’s high temperatures will locally exceed 85°F.

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