USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, rapidly changing weather conditions exist. "Bitterly cold air is settling across the northern Plains, while snow is developing on the central High Plains," USDA adds. Warmth lingers on the southern Plains, where a few rain showers are arriving, it continues. "However, unfavorably dry, breezy conditions persist on the southern High Plains," USDA explains.
In the West, USDA says cold, dry weather prevails across the northern tier of the region, with temperatures falling below -15°F in sections of Montana. "Farther south, however, rain and snow showers stretch from California to the central Rockies," USDA details. The precipitation is aiding drought-stressed rangeland but slowing late-season fieldwork, according to USDA.
In the Corn Belt, USDA says sharply colder air is overspreading the upper Midwest, accompanied by snow showers. "Mild weather prevails across the remainder of the region, although scattered showers are slowing final harvest efforts," USDA coninues.
In the South, USDA reports showers are limited to parts of Florida’s peninsula and the northwestern fringe of the region (e.g., Ozark Plateau). "Dryness remains a concern with respect to th e establishment of fall-sown crops in parts of the Southeast," USDA continues. On Nov. 17, topsoil moisture was 58% very short to short in South Carolina, USDA details. Very short to short ratings in other states included 50% in Florida and 46% in Alabama and Georgia, according to USDA.
In its outlook, USDA says over the next few days, a wintry mix of precipitation will develop across the southern Rockies and southern Plains as cold Canadian air continues to plunge southward through the Nation’s mid-section. "Freezing rain is forecast for central Texas but temperatures will stay above freezing closer to the Gulf Coast, where rain and thunderstorms are expected," USDA explains. Three-day rainfall accumulations in excess of 2 inches are possible in southern California and the Four-Corners Region, as well as in the vicinity of East Texas, USDA details. As the rain moves eastward, the high pressure system bringing the cold weather will descend upon the Midwest, according to USDA. "As a result, showers will gradually exit the mid-Atlantic and Southeast and lake-effect snow will develop in the Great Lakes Region," USDA explains. Meanwhile, cool, dry weather will continue in the Pacific Northwest into the early part of next week, USDA reports.