Weather

Moisture expands across the Plains, parts of the Corn Belt; mild weather except northern reaches

Across the Corn Belt, rain is falling in the middle Ohio Valley.  The remainder of the Midwest is experiencing mild, dry weather, with Thursday’s high temperatures expected to top 60°F as far north as western Iowa. 

On the Plains, a disturbance crossing Montana and the Dakotas is producing some light snow.  In contrast, mild, dry weather covers the central and southern Plains.  An elevated wildfire threat exists in a few areas, including parts of western Texas.  On March 3, statewide topsoil moisture in Texas was rated 49% very short to short. 

In the South, above-normal temperatures are promoting grass growth and development of winter grains.  In the western Gulf Coast region, where Thursday’s high temperatures will reach 80°F or higher, spring planting is well underway.  Farther east, steady rain is spreading northward across the Atlantic Coast States, extending as far west as the Tennessee Valley.   In addition, showers and a few thunderstorms are occurring across southern Florida. 

In the West, less active weather is arriving, although rain and snow showers linger in several areas.  Notably, patchy precipitation is falling early Thursday from northern California to the Intermountain West.  With recent and ongoing snowfall, it appears that the Sierra Nevada will experience the first back-to-back seasons with near- or above-average snowpack since 2015-16 and 2016-17.  Elsewhere, cold but mostly dry weather prevails in the Northwest. 

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