A more active pattern ahead this week
On the Plains, increasing winds accompany a rapid warming trend. Frigid conditions linger, however, across Montana and the Dakotas, accompanied by some light snow. At the height of the weekend cold wave, much of the Plains’ winter wheat belt had a variable protective snow cover as temperatures dipped to 0° or below (on January 7) as far south as Oklahoma and the northern panhandle of Texas.
Across the Corn Belt, temperatures are gradually rebounding, following a frigid weekend.
In the South, producers in Deep South Texas and southern Louisiana continue to monitor the effects of a weekend cold wave on sugarcane and other freeze-sensitive crops. Much of Deep South Texas escaped with a light freeze on January 7, but southern Louisiana experienced temperatures generally ranging from 20 to 25° on January 7-8. Nearly all of Florida south of Interstate-4 did not experience a weekend freeze. Elsewhere, the southern Mid-Atlantic region continues to recover from a weekend snow storm.
In the West, stormy weather prevails, although warmth is limiting snow accumulations except at higher elevations. Enough cold air lingers in the Northwest, however, to result in snow in some wheat-production areas. Although rain has slackened, flooding remains a threat in parts of California and the Great Basin.
Much warmer weather will quickly overspread the South, East, and Midwest, but a new surge of Arctic air will reach the northern Plains and the Northwest early in the week. By late in the week, cold air will once again dominate all of the country except the South and East. In California, significant storminess will return on January 10, following a brief lull in heavy precipitation. Five-day totals in northern and central California could reach 4 to 8 inches, while inland sections of the Intermountain West could see 1 to 4 inches. As the week progresses, increasingly stormy weather should result in snow from the Great Lakes region into the Northeast and heavy rain from the mid-South into the Ohio Valley.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for above-normal temperatures along the Pacific Coast and from the Mississippi Valley to the Atlantic Seaboard. Meanwhile, colder-than-normal conditions should cover large sections of the Plains, Rockies, and Intermountain West. Elsewhere, below-normal precipitation from southern California to the northern Plains and upper Midwest will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in the Northwest and across the South, East, and lower Midwest.