Weather, temps continue in a wide-range across much of the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, cooler air and snow showers are arriving across the upper Midwest in the wake of a cold front’s passage.  Meanwhile, warmth lingers in the Ohio Valley, where Friday’s high temperatures should range from 60 to 70°F.  East of the boundary between cool and warm air, rain is spreading northeastward.  The Midwestern rain is helping to improve topsoil moisture, following an extended spell of warm, mostly dry weather in February and early March. 

On the Plains, overnight thunderstorms in Oklahoma and Texas have shifted eastward, trailed by cool, breezy weather.  Meanwhile, snow is gradually ending across the central Plains, with the greatest accumulations—locally 6 inches or more—having been observed across northeastern Colorado and southwestern Nebraska.  The snow, along with a corresponding bump in topsoil moisture, is benefiting rangeland, pastures, and winter wheat. 

In the South, showers and thunderstorms stretch from eastern Texas into the Tennessee Valley.  The rain is slowing spring fieldwork but generally benefiting pastures and winter grains.  However, with rain expected to become heavier Friday, areas from the Mississippi Delta to the southern Appalachians are bracing for possible flooding. 

In the West, any lingering snow showers are confined to the central and southern Rockies.  Cool, dry weather covers the remainder of the western U.S., with some frost noted Friday morning in near-coastal areas of Oregon and northern California.  Elsewhere, mountain snowpack remains substantially below average for this time of year across the northern tier of the region, including much of Montana and Washington, as well as northern sections of Idaho and Wyoming. 

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