USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, slightly cooler air is overspreading eastern portions of the region, where final corn harvest efforts remain largely on hold. "In contrast, mild, dry conditions persist in the upper Midwest, where many communities are experiencing a rare holiday season without any snow on the ground," USDA explains.
In the West, USDA reports freeze warnings are in effect this morning for much of California's Central Valley (and neighboring valleys), where some producers are employing protective measures to guard against injury to citrus and other temperature-sensitive crops. "Elsewhere, snow continues to fall in the southern Rockies, while very cold air covers the Southwest," USDA explains.
On the Plains, dry weather prevails. "Mild air is overspreading the Northern Plains, but chilly conditions linger across the Southern Plains," USDA says. Wheat continues to overwinter with few major concerns, although emerging dryness could become a problem on the Northern Plains, while lingering drought is an issue on the Southern Plains, according to USDA.
In the South, USDA reports a weakening band of showers is crossing the southern Atlantic region. "Southeastern row crop harvest activities are largely complete, but some pastures and winter grains are in need of additional rain," USDA says.
According to USDA's outlook, generally dry, increasingly mild conditions will prevail across the central and Northern Plains and Corn Belt. "Meanwhile, a slow-moving storm system will generate periods of rain and snow from New Mexico into Texas, with rain gradually spreading into the Delta and Southeast during the latter half of the weekend," USDA adds. Farther north, USDA reports a pair of upper-air disturbances will trigger snow showers in the Great Lakes and Northeast, while rain and high-elevation snow linger in the Pacific Northwest. "Dry, warmer weather will return to California and the Southwest," USDA says.