USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, dry weather prevails, except for some light precipitation in eastern Montana. "Conditions are dramatically warmer than a week ago, with today’s high temperatures expected to exceed 60°F as far north as the central High Plains," USDA reports. Winter wheat’s protective snow cover has eroded across the northern High Plains, according to USDA.
In the West, USDA explains dry weather accompanies markedly warmer conditions. "Producers in California’s San Joaquin Valley continue to monitor and inspect citrus for sign of freeze damage, following a protracted cold spell from Dec. 4-12," USDA continues.
In the Corn Belt, USDA says light snow is falling in the Ohio Valley, while another area of snow is spreading across the upper Midwest. "Most of the Midwest remains covered by snow, with current depths standing at 5 inches in locations such as Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Rockford, Illinois; and Dayton, Ohio," USDA continues.
In the South, USDA reports dry weather favors late-season fieldwork, including winter wheat planting and cotton and soybean harvesting.
In its outlook, USDA says dry weather will dominate much of the U.S. for the remainder of the week. "However, several disturbances will produce snow showers from the Great Lakes states into the Northeast, where cold conditions will persist," USDA continues. By mid-week, precipitation will also overspread the northern High Plains and the Northwest, USDA explains. "A surge of cold air will accompany the Northwestern precipitation, with frigid conditions briefly returning to the northern Plains and upper Midwest on Dec. 19-20," USDA reports. Much of the remainder of the U.S. will experience warmer-than-normal weather, with mid-week temperatures approaching 70°F as far north as the central High Plains, USDA adds. "Toward week’s end, snow will return to areas from the Great Lakes region into New England, while rain showers will develop in the Southeast," USDA details.