Unseasonably mild, dry weather continues...for now
In the Corn Belt, unusual warmth is expanding eastward. As a result, cold air is retreating from the eastern Corn Belt, where producers have had a few days to try to harvest any remaining corn.
On the Plains, record-setting warmth persists, especially across northern areas. A few wildfires have developed on Montana’s High Plains, in part due to warm, windy weather. Farther south, lingering drought effects in Texas have left 38% of the winter wheat in very poor to poor condition in early January, along with 80% of the state’s pastures and rangeland.
In the South, parts of Florida’s peninsula endured a second consecutive freeze, although temperatures were highly variable. In colder pockets, producers again employed protective measures to help guard against damage to citrus, sugarcane, vegetables, nursery crops, and other temperature-sensitive commodities. Elsewhere, warmer weather favors off-season fieldwork activities.
In the West, rain and snow showers are confined to the Pacific Northwest and the northern Rockies. Farther south, dry weather remains a concern with respect to pasture and rangeland conditions, especially in California. In addition, only meager high-elevation snow packs exist from the Sierra Nevada and the southern Cascades to the western slopes of the central Rockies.
Residual cold air in the East is being replaced by warmer conditions. Meanwhile, warmer-than-normal weather will dominate the remainder of the U.S., with record-setting high temperatures continuing into next week across the northern Plains and upper Midwest.
By early next week, a developing storm will result in a cooling trend across southern portions of the Rockies and Plains. The storm could result in the development of heavy rain in the western and central Gulf Coast States.
Little or no precipitation will fall elsewhere, except for some higher amounts in the Pacific Northwest.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- to above-normal temperatures across the contiguous U.S., except for cooler-than-normal conditions in the southern Atlantic region. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation from California to the central and southern Plains will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in parts of the Southeast and across the nation’s northern tier.