Warmer weather on the Plains; some rain, wet snow over the central, southern Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, light precipitation, including some wet snow, is falling in the middle Mississippi and lower Ohio Valleys.  Dry weather covers the remainder of the region, with warmth returning across the upper Midwest.  In fact, Friday’s high temperatures will range from 60 to 75°F in South Dakota—but will remain mostly below 50°F in the eastern Corn Belt.  Except near the Canadian border and downwind of the Great Lakes, negligible snow remains on the ground.  

On the Plains, record-setting warmth and breezy conditions have returned across the northern half of the region, where Friday’s high temperatures could reach 75°F as far north as southern South Dakota.  Meanwhile, producers across the northern panhandle of Texas and neighboring areas continue to assess damage from this week’s wildfires, which have burned more than a million acres of grassland and other vegetation.  Due to fire mergers, the Smokehouse Creek Fire—    at 1,075,000 acres—has become the largest wildfire in modern Texas history, surpassing the 900,000-acre East Amarillo Complex of March 2006. 

In the South, rain is slowing or halting spring fieldwork from the Mississippi Delta eastward.  Friday’s high temperatures will remain below 50°F across portions of the interior Southeast, with freezing rain expected at higher elevations of the southern Appalachians.  Meanwhile, mostly dry weather in the western Gulf Coast region favors fieldwork, including early-season corn planting. 

In the West, stormy weather prevails as far south as central California and as far east as the northern Rockies.  A Blizzard Warning is in effect in several areas, including the northern and central Sierra Nevada and portions of the eastern Great Basin.  Meanwhile, the southeastern half of the western U.S. is experiencing mild, dry weather, with increasing winds.

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