Look for the rain and snow this morning to exit quickly out of the Columbia Basin this afternoon and then, wait for it, drumroll please, yes, a week of dry and mild conditions. Now, during the clear skies on Monday, it was readily apparent from satellite images, that the whole Columbia Basin is still locked in snow cover, except for a small area along the Columbia River from Hat Rock to Irrigon and north to the Horse Heaven Hills. Driving around, I did see wheat stubble poking through the snow that wasn't visible late last week and also bare ground on south facing slopes. A ridge of high pressure will bring a warming trend through the weekend and temperatures may actually be near the seasonal normal for the first time since very early February. In case you're wondering, normal temperatures for mid March are in the low to mid 50s north of Yakima to Moses Lake and upper 50s to the south. Now couple this daytime warmth with mostly sunny skies and nighttime temperatures above freezing, and we set the stage to finally get rid of the low elevation snowpack. Once the snow leaves, soil temperatures which are currently in the lower to mid 30s should warm into the upper 30s and lower 40s by early next week. The warmer air and soil temperatures will spur winter wheat and pastures out of dormancy. Toward the mid to latter part of next week, it does look like the weather pattern could become more active again.