National Current Conditions: March 20th thru 26th, 2024

After finally seeing good snowfall, a large area of the Upper Midwest, particularly in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, improved. Eastern South Dakota and Nebraska also saw drought improvements. Scattered areas in the Plains and Midwest worsened.

As of March 26, 2024, 15.18% of the U.S. and Puerto Rico and 18.09% of the lower 48 states are in drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

This Week's Drought Summary…

A winter-like storm system crossing the central Plains and upper Midwest resulted in a variety of weather hazards, including blizzard conditions, high winds, heavy rain, and locally severe thunderstorms. That storm was preceded by a weaker system, which produced a stripe of snow from northern Montana into portions of the Great Lakes States. Combined, the two storms produced 40 to 50% of the season-to-date snowfall in 4 to 5 days at several upper Midwestern locations, including Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Though the winter-like storm eventually weakened and drifted northward into Canada, impacts lingered. For example, the wettest day ever observed during March was noted on the 23rd in mid-Atlantic locations such as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and New York’s LaGuardia and JFK Airports. Elsewhere, the West received widespread but generally light precipitation.


Looking Ahead...

During the weekend, precipitation will spread farther inland across the Great Basin, Intermountain West, and parts of the Southwest. Early next week, precipitation will return across the nation’s mid-section, initially extending eastward from Colorado and Wyoming.

The NWS 6-to-10-day outlook for April 2–6 calls for the likelihood of near- or below-normal temperatures nationwide, except for warmer-than-normal weather in California, the Great Basin, northern New England, and southern Florida. Meanwhile, near- or above-normal precipitation across much of the country should contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in coastal sections of Oregon and northern California, as well as a broad area covering much of the eastern Plains, mid-South, and Midwest.