Winter storm conditions over parts of the Heartland
Across the Corn Belt, blizzard conditions are occurring in parts of the upper Midwest due to wind-driven snow. Some of the harshest conditions, leading to travel disruptions and livestock stress, are occurring in western Iowa, southwestern Minnesota, and easternmost sections of Nebraska and South Dakota. Snow showers and windy conditions are occurring across a broader area of the western Corn Belt, while scattered showers are affecting the eastern Corn Belt.
On the Plains, blustery weather continues. Difficult conditions for travel and livestock exist early Friday across eastern section of the northern Plains due to light snow and high winds. Meanwhile on the High Plains, winds have begun to diminish. On Thursday, wind gusts above 65 mph were common across the northern Plains, where Rapid City, South Dakota reported a northwesterly gust to 80 mph.
In the South, a cold front—accompanied by scattered showers—extends southward from the southern Appalachians to western Florida. In the front’s wake, cool, breezy conditions are overspreading areas from the western Gulf Coast region to the Mississippi Delta.
In the West, dry weather prevails, aside from a few showers along the northern Pacific Coast. Drought continues to expand its footprint from California to the central and southern Rockies, amid an unfavorably dry winter. For the second day in a row, an enhanced wildfire threat exists in southern California due to windy weather and low humidity levels.