Late-Winter “Heat Wave” across the Heartland

A powerful and potentially dangerous storm system is moving ashore in central and southern California, bearing heavy rain, strong winds, and high-elevation snow, and increasing the threat of local flooding and mudslides. However, the storm will also be well-placed to help replenish groundwater and recharge reservoir storage in lingering drought areas of southern California. Additional storms will arrive along the Pacific Coast at regular intervals, starting on February 19. As a result, 5-day precipitation totals in California could reach 2 to 12 inches. By early next week, some of the Pacific energy will reach the nation’s mid-section, resulting in rain and wet snow in the north-central U.S. and potentially heavy rain (locally 2 to 4 inches or more) in the western Gulf Coast region and environs. Meanwhile, early-season warmth will continue to dominate the country, especially across the nation’s mid-section.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of above-normal temperatures across the eastern two-thirds of the U.S., while colder-than-normal weather will be confined to the Far West. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal precipitation across most of the country will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in the Pacific Northwest and across the South from Arizona to the Mississippi Delta.

5-Day Precipitation Totals

NOAA’s 6- to 10- Day Outlook

NOAA’s 8- to 14- Day Outlook


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