Arctic air penetrates south Florida...

On the Plains, chilly conditions linger across eastern areas. In contrast, mild, breezy weather is developing on the High Plains. On the central and southern Plains, the poorly established portion of the winter wheat crop continues to be subjected to unfavorably dry weather and sharp temperature fluctuations.

Across the Corn Belt, snow showers persist downwind of the Great Lakes. Otherwise, very cold, dry weather prevails. Much of the Corn Belt is covered by snow, with depths of 1 to 2 feet in the upper Midwest.

In the South, cold weather prevails. In southern Louisiana, where the sugarcane harvest is nearly complete, nearly calm conditions accompanied widespread freezes. Across Florida’s peninsula, ice caps (from sprinkler systems) were one of the few viable defenses for citrus and strawberries against widespread freezes. Unharvested vegetables in the northern Everglades, some of which were already damaged by the December 7-8 freezes, were subjected to temperatures generally ranging from 25 to 32 degrees.

In the West, a potent Pacific storm is causing additional lowland flooding in parts of the Pacific Northwest and bringing additional heavy snow to the Cascades and northern Rockies. Farther south, late-season fieldwork continues in the Southwest, where Arizona’s cotton harvest was 80% complete by December 12.

Looking ahead, much of Florida’s peninsula will face another freeze on Wednesday morning with diminish winds. Late week temperatures will quickly rebound to near 80 degrees in southern Florida, but cool weather will persist from the Midwest into the Northeast. A new surge of cold air will reach the Plains and the Northwest late in the week, while precipitation gradually expands across the West.

Farther east, light rain and snow will spread from the northern Plains into the Southeast.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- to below-normal temperatures from the northern Plains into the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern States, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail in northern New England and from the High Plains westward. Meanwhile, above normal precipitation in northern New England and from the Pacific Coast into the upper Midwest will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions across the southern one-third of the U.S. 

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