All graphics courtesy of USDA, NOAA, Department of Commerce
Little or no precipitation fell across the northern and central Plains and the Corn Belt. However, Midwestern planting preparations were limited by low soil temperatures, and – in some cases – by muddy or icy field conditions.
Cold conditions persisted across the far upper Midwest, including eastern North Dakota, where weekly temperatures averaged more than 10° F below normal. Cool weather also dominated the eastern half of the U.S., especially from the Midsouth into the Mid-Atlantic states.
Rain provided some drought relief in southern Florida and maintained generally favorable soil moisture levels across the remainder of the Southeast. Some of the heaviest rain, 2 in. or more, fell in the central Gulf Coast region. The southeastern Plains also received beneficial rain, with weekly totals surpassing the 2-in. mark in much of central and eastern Oklahoma. However, only light precipitation dampened the southern High Plains, maintaining concerns about a lack of moisture for rangeland, pastures and winter wheat.
Elsewhere, Western precipitation had little effect on water-supply forecasts, especially in drought-affected areas from California to the central and southern Rockies. Precipitation briefly spread as far south as central California, but was heaviest in the Pacific Northwest. Western warmth boosted weekly temperatures as much as 10°F above normal across the Intermountain region and the interior Northwest.