The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) has issued its extended weather forecasts. In its outlook for January, it calls for above-normal temps across most of the area east of the Rocky Mountains while dry conditions are expected across the southern tier of states. Meanwhile, above-normal precip is expected in the Pacific Northeast and eastern Corn Belt.
In its outlook for January through March, it expects the area of above-normal temps to retract somewhat, but still cover the Central Plains northeastward through the eastern Corn Belt. Above-normal precip across the eastern Corn Belt should assure soil moisture levels remain ample as planting season nears, with chances equal for normal, above- or below-normal precip in the western Corn Belt. Meanwhile, dry conditions are expected for most of Kansas southward and along the southern tier of states.
In its Seasonal Drought Outlook, the CPC says drought conditions will persist across the Southern Plains through March, although there could be some drought improvement in the eastern section of the region. It also looks for drought to persist in western Iowa, southern Minnesota and eastern Nebraska.
CPC states: "Since early November, frequent precipitation and seasonably cooler temperatures resulted in drought improvement across the southern Plains. Additional improvement can be expected in southeast Kansas, eastern Oklahoma, and northeast Texas, while monthly and seasonal precipitation forecasts favor persistence across the remainder of Texas and the southern high Plains. Despite the early winter snowfall in Arizona and New Mexico, La Niña elevates the odds for drought persistence across the Southwest. Drought development is forecast for parts of California associated with a dry La Niña signal, and development potential extends north into the southern Sierras due to a lack of early winter snowfall. A relatively dry winter climatology elevates the chances for persistence across the western Corn Belt and upper Mississippi Valley."
Check the following links for maps of forecasts: