A more typical December feel across the Corn Belt

A more typical December feel across the Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, rain is halting final harvest efforts in the Ohio Valley and the lower Great Lakes region. Meanwhile in the upper Midwest, precipitation has largely ended but windy weather persists, following Monday’s transition from rain to snow and concurrent arrival of sharply colder air.

On the Plains, snow showers linger across portions of Montana and the Dakotas in the wake of a departing storm system. At daybreak Tuesday, Grand Forks, North Dakota, was reporting 4 inches of freshly fallen snow, along with gusty winds. Farther south, cool, dry, breezy weather covers the central and southern Plains.

In the South, locally heavy showers and thunderstorms stretch from the Tennessee Valley into eastern Texas. The rain is providing much-needed moisture for pastures, winter wheat, and cover crops, following a very dry autumn. The driest September-November period on record occurred in several Arkansas locations, with precipitation totaling just 2.01 inches in Pine Bluff; 2.12 inches in Russellville; and 3.00 inches in Monticello.

In the West, an out-of-control wildfire is raging near Ventura, in southern California, and extremely dangerous conditions—featuring high winds and low humidity levels—persist with respect to the potential for explosive fire growth. Dry weather prevails throughout the West, and Freeze Warnings were in effect early Tuesday in several areas, including California’s San Joaquin Valley and portions of the southern Great Basin.

Markedly cooler to colder air will continue to overspread the Midwest, South, and East in the wake of a cold front’s passage. The front will stall across the Deep South, contributing to 5-day rainfall totals that could reach 1 to 2 inches. Accumulating snow can be expected, starting later today, across southern sections of the Rockies and High Plains. Meanwhile, snow showers will develop downwind of the Great Lakes. Late in the week, a secondary surge of cold air will maintain below-normal temperatures across the eastern half of the U.S., while warmth will build from the Pacific Coast to the High Plains. Dangerous wildfire conditions should persist in southern California through at least Thursday.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures across the eastern half of the U.S., while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail from the Pacific Coast to the High Plains. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation across the majority of the country should contrast with wetter-than-normal weather from the Dakotas to northern New England.

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