USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, extreme cold is stressing livestock across northern areas. "This morning's temperatures fell to 0°F as far south as Nebraska and generally ranged from -10°F to -20°F in Montana and North Dakota," USDA reports. In contrast, unusually warm weather prevails on the southern Plains, where today's highs will exceed 70°F, according to USDA.
In the West, USDA reports heavy precipitation continues along and near the Pacific Coast as far south as northwestern California. "However, key watershed areas from the Sierra Nevada to the central Rockies remain dry," USDA says. Elsewhere, USDA says a freeze warning is in effect again this morning in California's San Joaquin Valley.
In the Corn Belt, USDA says snow showers precede and accompany an Arctic cold front, which stretches from Michigan to Missouri. "In the front's wake, bitterly cold weather across the upper Midwest is increasing livestock stress," USDA adds. This morning's low temperatures fell below -20° F in parts of Minnesota, USDA explains.
In the South, USDA says warm air is expanding eastward, although chilly conditions linger along the Atlantic Coast. "In the southern Atlantic region, drought continues to develop and intensify," USDA reports.
USDA's outlook says a pool of bitterly cold air over the northern Plains and upper Midwest will move eastward, reaching the Great Lakes and northeastern states on Friday. "By early next week, temperatures will rebound to near- to above-normal levels across most of the nation," USDA says. Meanwhile, the Western storm track will gradually shift southward, bringing much-needed precipitation to the Sierra Nevada and the Intermountain region, according to USDA. During the next five days, additional precipitation could reach 6 to 10 inches in the Pacific Northwest, 3 to 6 inches in the Sierra Nevada, and 2 to 4 inches in the northern Rockies and northern Intermountain West, USDA says. "Farther east, a late-week storm could produce as much as 1 to 2 inches of precipitation across the eastern one-third of the U.S., with snow and sleet expected across parts of the Midwest and Northeast," USDA reports.