Cold beginning to moderate across the Heartland...
Across the Corn Belt, an extensive snow cover and cold conditions are maintaining stress on livestock. Snow depths of 1 to 2 feet remain common across the northern half of the Corn Belt, where Friday morning’s low temperatures locally fell below -10 degrees.
On the Plains, mild weather is returning to Montana and the western Dakotas, but cold conditions persist farther south. Snow cover is insulating most of the Plains’ winter wheat crop, although drought-related concerns persist on the central and southern High Plains.
In the South, isolated showers linger across southern Florida. Elsewhere, cold, dry weather prevails. Deep South Texas largely escaped a hard freeze, although most areas reported temperatures below 32 degrees.
In the West, mild, dry weather prevails, except for a lingering chill across the central and southern Rockies. Winter fieldwork is advancing in California and the Desert Southwest.
During the next several days, generally tranquil weather will accompany a warming trend. By Sunday, near- to above-normal temperatures will cover the majority of the U.S. Warmth will be especially prevalent across the nation’s mid-section. Wet weather will return to the Pacific Northwest during the weekend.
Early next week, showery weather will spread as far east as the northern Rockies and as far south as central California.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for above-normal temperatures south and east of a line from Texas to Michigan, while colder-than-normal weather will prevail across the northern High Plains and much of the West. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions on the central and southern Plains and along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.