Bitter cold air builds into the north-central U.S.

Bitter cold air builds into the north-central U.S.

Across the Corn Belt, snow is falling across parts of the upper Midwest. Tuesday morning’s snow depths include 3 inches at both Des Moines, Iowa, and La Crosse, Wisconsin. Meanwhile, showers and thunderstorms are affecting the southern and eastern Corn Belt.

On the Plains, cold, dry air is settling southward. Only a patchy, shallow snow cover exists in winter wheat areas of the northern Plains, where Tuesday morning’s low temperatures generally ranged from 0 to -20°F.

In the South, widely scattered showers stretch from eastern Texas to the southern Atlantic States. Most of Florida, however, remains unfavorably dry.

In the West, rain and snow showers are spreading inland from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies. Elsewhere, cool, dry weather prevails. In California, a hard freeze warning is in effect Tuesday morning in the Sacramento Valley, while a Freeze Warning was issued for the San Joaquin Valley.

During the next few days, the brunt of an Arctic blast will affect the northern Plains, Midwest, and Northeast. Mid-week temperatures near -30°F may occur near the Canadian border from the northern Plains to the upper Great Lakes region. Widespread sub-zero readings can be expected—especially on Thursday morning—as far south as Nebraska and Iowa.

Farther west, many of California’s agricultural valleys will experience another significant freeze on Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, an increasingly wet weather pattern will develop from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies. Toward week’s end, much-needed precipitation will spread southward into northern California. Five-day precipitation totals could reach 8 to 12 inches in parts of the Pacific Northwest, and 2 to 4 inches in the northern Rockies.

Elsewhere, precipitation will gradually end across the eastern one-third of the U.S., but showers may return to the Southeast toward week’s end.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for warmer-than-normal weather nationwide, except for near- to below-normal temperatures in the Northwest. Meanwhile, wetter-than-normal conditions across the northern half of the U.S. will contrast with below-normal precipitation across the nation’s southern tier.

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