All graphics courtesy of USDA, NOAA, Department of Commerce
Light precipitation fell in many parts of the country, but significant weekly totals (2 in. or more) were mostly confined to the Southeast and the Pacific Northwest. Early in the week, heavy rain reached as far north as the southern Corn Belt, including the lower Ohio and middle Mississippi valleys.
Meanwhile, dry weather prevailed from southern California to the southern High Plains. Substantial early- and late-week rainfall in the Southeast slowed fieldwork but maintained generally favorable moisture reserves for pastures, winter grains and emerging summer crops. Florida’s peninsula, which experienced a dry winter, received light but much-needed rainfall.
Farther west, however, precipitation largely bypassed the southern Plains, where periods of warm, windy weather increased stress on rangeland, pastures and winter wheat. In contrast, beneficial precipitation (mostly snow) blanketed the northern and central Plains. In particular, a late-week storm produced widespread snow across the central Plains. At week’s end, the storm arrived across the southern Corn Belt. The remainder of the Midwest experienced unusually cold weather, accompanied by some light snow.
Weekly temperatures averaged more than 15° F below normal in the far upper Midwest and adjacent areas of the northern Plains. In addition, upper Midwestern temperatures frequently plunged below 0° F, with some readings below -20° F reported early in the week in the Red River Valley. Elsewhere, warm, dry weather in southern California and the Desert Southwest contrasted with cold, showery conditions in the Northwest. Fieldwork advanced in the warm, dry regions, but water-supply prospects remained mostly dismal from California to the central and southern Rockies.