Today's Weather: Two surges of moisture
In the West, scattered showers stretch from southern California to the southern Rockies. Snow is already falling at higher elevations of the southern Rockies, with freezing levels expected to lower significantly later today. Elsewhere, patchy snow showers are affecting the northern and central Rockies, while mild, dry weather covers northern and central California and the Pacific Northwest.
On the Plains, dry weather prevails. However, cloudiness is thickening across the southern Plains, where precipitation is approaching from the south and west. Weekend snow blanketed portions of the northern Plains, with 10.4 inches reported in Huron, South Dakota.
In the Corn Belt, chilly conditions prevail early today across the upper Midwest, where temperatures locally fell below 0°F. In contrast, mild weather covers the southern and eastern Corn Belt. Some light rain is falling early today in the Ohio Valley, where early-morning temperatures generally range from 35 to 50°F.
In the South, varying degrees of lowland flooding linger in the wake of last week’s downpours. Early today, minor to moderate flooding is being reported at more than 100 river gauges from the lower Mississippi Valley to the Atlantic coastal plain of Georgia and the Carolinas. Currently, rain is returning across the interior Southeast, maintaining soggy field conditions. Warm, dry weather prevails, however, along the southern Atlantic Coast.
Outlook: During the next several days, two surges of moisture will deliver heavy rain (locally 2 to 5 inches or more) from eastern Texas to the central and southern Appalachians. In areas where rivers are still running high from last week’s heavy rain, additional flooding may occur. Significant rain will fall as far north as the Ohio Valley and the mid-Atlantic, but favorably dry weather will prevail during the next 5 days in the upper Midwest. However, unfavorable dryness will continue in northern and central California. Except in the central and southern Rockies, snowfall will be scarce during the first half of the week. However, late-week snow will affect portions of the Northeast and Northwest. During the second half of the week, cold air will surge southward across the northern Plains, Midwest, and Northeast. In fact, much of the country will experience a brief, late-week period of near- or below-normal temperatures.
The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for February 15 – 19 calls for the likelihood of colder-than-normal conditions in northern New England and throughout the West, while near- or above-normal temperatures will dominate the central and eastern U.S. Meanwhile, wetter-than-normal weather will cover the country, except for near- or below-normal precipitation in California and Florida.
Contact: Brad Rippey, Agricultural Meteorologist, USDA/OCE/WAOB, Washington, D.C. (202-720-2397) Web Site: http://www.usda.gov/oce/weather/pubs/Daily/TODAYSWX.pdf