A mild pattern continues, but big changes are ahead
Across the Corn Belt, a few rain and snow showers dot the Great Lakes region, while mild, dry weather prevails elsewhere. The warmest weather, relative to normal, continues across the western Corn Belt, where drought is gradually expanding and intensifying.
On the Plains, mild air continues to expand across the region. As a result, residual snow cover is melting across the central and southern High Plains. On the northern Plains, winter wheat is exposed to potential weather extremes and would benefit from an increase in precipitation.
In the South, dry weather accompanies a gradual warming trend. Cloudiness prevented Thursday morning’s temperatures from falling as low as expected in the southern Atlantic States.
In the West, a few rain and snow showers continue from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies, but unfavorably dry conditions persist in California and the Great Basin.
Another storm system will reach the Pacific Northwest on Thursday night and Friday, resulting in additional precipitation totaling 2 to 5 inches. The northern Rockies could receive up to 2 inches. Precipitation will gradually spread eastward across the nation’s northern tier, with some periods of locally heavy snow possible in the Great Lakes region.
As the New Year begins, a blast of cold air will arrive across the eastern half of the U.S. Some of the coldest air, relative to normal, will affect the Great Lakes and Northeastern States.
Meanwhile, little or no precipitation will fall across the southern half of the nation during the next 5 days.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for above-normal temperatures across the western two-thirds of the U.S., while colder-than-normal weather will prevail in the East. Meanwhile, drier-than-normal conditions across the majority of the nation will contrast with near-normal precipitation in western Washington and from the lower Great Lakes region into New England.