USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, mild weather has eroded any existing snow cover, leaving winter wheat exposed to potential temperature extremes. "Fieldwork, including cotton harvesting, is ongoing across the southern Plains," USDA reports. Across the northern tier of the region, a few rain showers are crossing Montana, while some wintry precipitation (snow and freezing rain) is affecting parts of the Dakotas, according to USDA.
In the West, USDA says rain and snow showers stretch from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies. "Farther south, late-season fieldwork continues under warm, dry conditions in California and the Desert Southwest," USDA continues.
In the Corn Belt, USDA says mild weather has returned, although snow remains on the ground downwind of the Great Lakes. "Current snow depths include 3 inches in both Youngstown, Ohio, and Traverse City, Michigan," USDA explains.
In the South, USDA reports mild, humid weather prevails. "Scattered show ers are slowing or halting late-season fieldwork, primarily in the Southeast," USDA continues.
In its outlook, USDA says following several days of tranquil weather, stormy conditions will gradually return across much of the U.S. "During the first half of the week, snow will develop across the nation’s northern tier as far east as the Great Lakes region," USDA explains. The snow will provide the northern Plains’ winter wheat with beneficial moisture and insulation, USDA continues. Meanwhile, USDA says high-elevation snow will affect the West, reaching as far south as the Sierra Nevada and the central Rockies. "By mid-week, frigid air will engulf much of the Plains and West, with very cold conditions spreading as far east as the Appalachians by week’s end," USDA continues. Late-week temperatures can be expected to fall below 0°F as far south as the central High Plains, while readings below -20°F will occur across the northern Plains and upper Midwest, USDA reports. "Elsewhere, heavy rain will develop during the second half of the week from the Mid-South into the Mid-Atlantic states, with 2- to 4-inch totals possible," USDA elaborates.