Wide-ranging temps, snow cover over the Heartland
Across he Corn Belt, lingering snow showers are limited to the middle Ohio Valley. Dry weather covers the remainder of the Midwest, although dense fog developed overnight in parts of the western Corn Belt. Most of the region is covered by shallow to moderately deep snow, following multiple winter storms.
On the Plains, dry weather accompanies above-normal temperatures. The warmth is further eroding winter wheat’s protective snow cover, which exists only across minor wheat areas of the eastern Dakotas and portions of the central Plains. The snow depth in Lincoln, Nebraska, fell to 10 inches on February 1, down from 14 inches from January 26-28.
In the South, cool, blustery weather prevails in the wake of a departing storm system. Snow showers linger from the southern Appalachians into the middle Atlantic States. Meanwhile in Florida, winds gusting to 30 mph or higher are a concern for tender crops, including winter vegetables, especially in areas prone to blowing sand due to topsoil moisture shortages. Statewide, Florida’s topsoil moisture was rated 38% very short to short on January 31.
In the West, rain and snow showers dot northern and central California and the Northwest. Mild, dry weather covers the remainder of the region, including the Southwest. According to the California Department of Water Resources, the average water equivalency of the high-elevation Sierra Nevada snowpack improved to approximately 12 inches (68% of normal) at the beginning of February, up from 6 inches (38%) a week earlier.