Cold weather to expand its grip...

Cold weather to expand its grip...

Across the Corn Belt, upper Midwestern livestock continue to endure a difficult winter that has featured cold weather, a persistently deep snow cover, and frequent storms. Although dry weather prevails, Tuesday’s low temperatures generally ranged from 0 to -20 degrees in the upper Midwest.

On the Plains, an extensive snow cover continues to protect winter grains in northern growing areas. However, a portion of the central and southern Plains’ winter wheat crop remains stressed by drought and weather extremes. In Kansas, the portion of the wheat crop rated in very poor to poor condition jumped from 25 to 33% between November 28 and January 2.

In the South, a few rain showers are developing in the western Gulf Coast region. Elsewhere, mild, dry weather prevails. Despite recent rainfall, drought remains a serious concern. In Florida, for example, drought and freezes have left 70% of the pastures in very poor to poor condition (on January 2).

In the West, cold, dry weather prevails. Early projections for summer water supplies are favorable in many Western river basins due to abundant early-season snowfall.

Rain will develop during the remainder of Tuesday in the western Gulf Coast region and spread eastward, reaching southern Georgia and northern Florida on Wednesday. Meanwhile, snow showers will develop downwind of the Great Lakes.

Dry weather will prevail elsewhere in the U.S., except for locally heavy precipitation in the Pacific Northwest.

Toward week’s end, snowy, windy conditions will overspread parts of the Northeast in conjunction with a developing coastal storm. Snow will develop across northern portions of the Rockies and Plains, while highly beneficial rain may fall across parts of the south-central U.S.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- to below-normal temperatures nationwide, except in Maine. The greatest likelihood of cold conditions will stretch from the northern Plains into the Southeast. Meanwhile, above-normal precipitation across the northern Plains and the western Gulf Coast States will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions along the Pacific Coast and from the eastern Corn Belt into the Mid-Atlantic States. 

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