Chilly weather across the Heartland; some regional rivers systems in flood stage

Across the Corn Belt, mostly dry weather accompanies below-normal temperatures.  Early Tuesday, exceptions to the dry pattern include light snow in eastern North Dakota and a rain/snow mix in the lower Missouri Valley.  An extensive snow cover remains in place across much of the upper Midwest, while lowland flooding is occurring along a few lower Midwestern rivers.  For example, the Meramec River at Valley Park, Missouri, crested 5.72 feet above flood stage on Monday, the highest water level measured in that location since January 2020.

On the Plains, light snow is falling in parts of North Dakota.  Otherwise, cool, dry weather prevails.  On the central and southern Plains, drought-stressed rangeland, pastures, and winter grains continue to struggle.  On March 26, roughly one-half of the winter wheat in Kansas (52%) and Texas (48%) was rated in very poor to poor condition.  Additionally, 68% of the rangeland and pastures in Texas, along with 58% in Oklahoma, were rated very poor to poor.

In the South, lingering showers are mainly confined to areas along and near the Gulf Coast.  In addition, warmth has been temporarily suppressed, except across Florida’s peninsula.  Spring planting continues as field conditions permit; in Texas, for example, 52% of the intended corn acreage and 22% of the rice had been planted by March 26.

In the West, a low-pressure system centered west of Oregon is producing widespread precipitation, primarily across the Pacific Northwest and northern California.  With snow already overspreading the Sierra Nevada, some high-elevation sites are bracing for accumulations of 2 to 4 feet.  California continues to prepare for the snow-melt season, which has already contributed to flooding of low-lying agricultural land in parts of the San Joaquin Valley.

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