Weather report: Winter storm denting drought on the Plains

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In the West , cool weather covers the region in the wake of a departing storm. A few snow showers linger across the central and southern Rockies and the Southwest .

On the Plains, a major winter storm is denting drought but causing travel disruptions and an increase in livestock stress. The most significant snow is falling across the central Plains , while mixed precipitation (snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain) is affecting the southern Plains . Gusty easterly winds accompany the snow. Early-morning snow depths included 9 inches in Wichita, Kansas , and 3 inches in Enid, Oklahoma .

In the Corn Belt , cold, dry weather prevails in advance of an approaching storm. Frozen precipitation is just starting to overspread the southwestern Corn Belt , including parts of Missouri .

In the South , an ice storm is affecting the Ozark Plateau , including southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. Elsewhere, rain showers are developing in the western Gulf Coast region , while dry weather prevails in the Southeast .

Outlook : Cold weather will continue to dominate the na tion into early next week, especially across the western two- thirds of the U.S. Meanwhile, a developing storm system over the south-central U.S. will drift northeastward, reaching the Great Lakes region late in the week. Snow will blanket areas from the central Plains into the upper Midwest and Northeast , while ice accumulations can be expected from the Mid-South into the lower Great Lakes region and the northern Mid-Atlantic States . Along the storm’s trailing cold front, heavy showers and locally severe thunderstorms will sweep from the southern Plains into the Southeast . Toward week’s end, a new storm system will produce widespread precipitation from the Pacific Northwest to the Rockies . Snow will return to portions of the Plains early next week, while additional rain will fall across the South . Five-day rainfall totals (through Monday) could reach 2 to 8 inches from the central Gulf Coast to the Carolinas . The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for February 26 – March 2 calls for near- to below-normal temperatures nationwide, except for warmer-than- normal weather across much of the nation’s northern tier . Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation from California to the High Plains will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in the Pacific Northwest , the Great Lakes region , and the Atlantic Coast States .

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