Rain to spread across Heartland of U.S. for start to week

Brandon Buckingham,

March 8 (UPI) -- After a warm, sunny and windy weekend across much of the nation's heartland, a quick-hitting round of rain will streak across the center of the country early next week.

The storm system, originating over the Pacific Ocean, will begin to spread rain and a few embedded thunderstorms to the Four Corners region and the southern Plains by Sunday.


Places like Nogales in southern Arizona to El Paso and Childress, Texas, all reported rain, although most places reported less than a quarter of an inch.

Steadier rain is expected on Sunday night into Monday morning as the storm taps into additional moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and shifts east.

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Oklahoma City and Kansas City can expect between a quarter to half inch of rain on Sunday night.

This wet weather will also help to douse the fires burning across western Oklahoma.

Those traveling along interstates 44 and 70 through Missouri on Monday morning will likely need to keep the windshield wipers on high as rain continues to fall.

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The wet weather will continue to expand northeastward into places like St. Louis, Chicago and Indianapolis during the daytime hours on Monday.


Similarly to the Midwest, rainfall totals of a quarter to a half inch are likely before activity begins to wind down after dusk. Rainfall amounts of this amount are unlikely to bring widespread flooding.

The wet weather will reach the majority of the Northeast by Tuesday.

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Behind the wet weather, rather warm air will follow.

Oklahoma City can expect high temperatures rebounding into the lower 70s by Tuesday afternoon, about 10 degrees above normal for mid-March. Temperatures in the lower 70s are more characteristic of mid-April in the capital city.

St. Louis can expect high temperatures to swell back into the middle 60s by Wednesday afternoon, which is also about 10 degrees warmer than normal.

The above-average temperatures continuing into midweek, combined with the rain, will likely help to bring some of the first signs of life to area foliage.

Given the relatively easy winter and warm transition into meteorological spring across the nation's midsection, flowers will likely bloom ahead of schedule this year.

More rounds of wet weather are expected across Texas and the center of the country mid-to-late week.

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