A mild December pattern continues

A mild December pattern continues

Across the Corn Belt, any remaining snow cover has been significantly reduced by mild weather. Early Wednesday, snow depths include 2 inches in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, and an inch in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The December mild spell has left muddy conditions in some fields and feedlots that had been previously frozen.

On the Plains, a December warm spell has left winter wheat nearly devoid of snow cover. High Wind Warnings are in effect Wednesday across portions of the northern High Plains, where gusts could exceed 60 mph.

In the South, locally heavy rain is developing west of the Mississippi Delta. Meanwhile, mild, dry weather prevails in the Southeast, despite an increase in cloudiness. Southern Florida is alone among Southeastern areas in experiencing drought; statewide topsoil moisture on December 16 was rated 33% very short to short.

In the West, mild, mostly dry weather prevails between Pacific storms. However, a few rain and snow showers linger across the Pacific Northwest and the northern Rockies. Farther south, dense fog has developed early Wednesday in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

A complex storm system developing across the nation’s mid-section will become a more cohesive low pressure system on Thursday over the Southeast. From there, the storm will move almost due northward into eastern Canada by Saturday. Storm-total precipitation—mostly rain—could reach 1 to 3 inches or more across the eastern U.S. Late in the week, rain will change to snow showers and squalls in the Appalachians and downwind of the Great Lakes. Farther west, periods of rain and high-elevation snow will continue in the Northwest, while mild, dry weather will stretch from southern California to the central and southern Plains.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for above-normal temperatures across much of the central and eastern U.S., while colder-than-normal conditions will cover the interior West. Meanwhile, wetter-than-normal weather across most of the country will contrast with below-normal precipitation along portions of the Atlantic Seaboard.

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