Across the Corn Belt, mostly dry weather prevails in advance of an approaching storm system. Some frozen precipitation (mostly snow and freezing rain) is developing in southern Missouri, on the Ozark Plateau.
On the Plains, precipitation is affecting the southern half of the region. The precipitation, which includes snow, sleet, and freezing rain roughly northwest of a line from Amarillo, Texas, to Wichita, Kansas, and rain farther southeast, is causing travel disruptions but providing highly beneficial moisture for winter wheat. Farther north, dry weather prevails, while bitterly cold air is lurking near the North Dakota-Canadian border.
In the South, precipitation—mostly light rain—is overspreading the northwestern fringe of the region, including northern Arkansas. Elsewhere, cold, dry weather favors off-season fieldwork. Freezes were noted Monday morning as far south as northern Florida, well outside the state’s winter agricultural belt.
In the West, cold, mostly dry conditions prevail. Lingering precipitation—mostly light snow—is gradually ending across the Southwest. Sub-zero temperatures were common this morning across the northern Great Basin and the northern Intermountain West.
Dry weather will return to the southern half of the Plains after Monday, but rainy conditions will persist for much of the week across the South. Five-day precipitation totals should reach 1 to 2 inches in many locations from eastern Texas into the lower Southeast.
Elsewhere, little or no precipitation will fall for the remainder of the week across the northern and western U.S., with isolated totals in excess of one-half inch confined to the Great Lakes region and the Pacific Northwest.
Meanwhile, a Freeze Warning has been issued for New Year’s Day for portions of California’s San Joaquin Valley. Cold conditions also dominate much of the remainder of the U.S., but will be replaced late in the week by mild weather across the northern Plains and upper Midwest. Warmth will expand to encompass much of the nation during the first weekend of 2013.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- to above-normal temperatures east of the Rockies, while colder-than-normal conditions will prevail in much of the West. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in the Deep South and along portions of the nation’s northern tier, particularly from Montana to northern Minnesota.