New Year's Day 2021 Weather Map
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Across the Corn Belt, cool, dry weather prevails between storm systems. The recently ended storm deposited significant snow across the upper Midwest, with 9.6 inches reported on December 29 in Des Moines, Iowa. Much of the southern and eastern Corn Belt is preparing for the next round of wintry Midwestern weather (snow and freezing rain).

On the Plains, a winter storm is underway across west-central Texas, where heavy snow is falling. The storm system, currently centered near the Texas coast, is also producing heavy rain in parts of eastern Texas. Meanwhile, dry weather covers the northern and central Plains, following recent snowfall. In Nebraska and portions of neighboring states, snow is providing winter wheat with beneficial moisture and insulation.

In the South, locally heavy rain stretches from the Tennessee Valley into eastern Texas. Local flooding is already occurring from eastern Texas into parts of Arkansas, with rain continuing to fall. Meanwhile, warm, mostly dry weather prevails across Florida’s peninsula.

In the West, precipitation is most widespread in the Pacific Northwest. However, rain and snow showers also dot central California and the Great Basin. Meanwhile, dry weather prevails in southern California and the Southwest. According to the December 29 U.S. Drought Monitor, drought covers 78.6% of the 11-state Western region.

For the remainder of New Year’s Eve, a winter storm will produce snow and freezing rain across portions of the central and southern Plains. As 2020 ends, wintry precipitation will also overspread the southern Corn Belt. Meanwhile, heavy rain and locally severe thunderstorms will spread northeastward from the western Gulf Coast region. Across the South, the threat for severe weather will persist into New Year’s Day. Storm-total precipitation could reach 1 to 4 inches across the South, excluding Florida’s peninsula. From the Midwest into the Northeast, the first day of 2021 will feature snow and freezing rain. During the weekend and early next week, the focus for heavy precipitation will shift to the Northwest, with significant rain and high-elevation snow extending inland to the northern Rockies and southward into northern California.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for above-normal temperatures from the Plains to the East Coast, except for near-normal temperatures in Florida, while cooler-than-normal conditions will prevail in California and environs. Meanwhile, near- or above-normal precipitation across most of the country should contrast with drier-than-normal weather in the Northeast and across Florida’s peninsula.

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Greg Soulje, a professional meteorologist since 1985, offers national agricultural weather forecasts via "This Week in Agribusiness."

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