USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, a variable snow cover exists. Snow depths are generally greater across the Ohio Valley, where both Columbus, Ohio, and Indianapolis, Indiana, have 6 inches on the ground, and in the upper Midwest, where Huron, South Dakota, and Des Moines, Iowa, are reporting 5-inch depths, according to USDA.
In the West, USDA says freeze warnings are in effect this morning in parts of California's San Joaquin Valley, although temperatures are not low enough to significantly threaten citrus. "Elsewhere in the West, dry weather accompanies below-normal temperatures," USDA explains.
On the Plains, USDA says a shallow to moderately deep snow cover is helping to insulate winter wheat across northern and central portions of the region. "Nevertheless, pastures, rangeland, and winter grains continue to struggle due to drought," USDA reports. On Dec. 30, for example, the portion of rangeland and pastures rated very poor to poor included 84% in Kansas, 82% in Oklahoma, and 70% in Montana, according to USDA.
In the South, USDA says a band of rain stretches from the central Gulf Coast into the eastern Carolinas. Florida's peninsula, however, remains unfavorably dry, USDA adds. "For example, Florida's topsoil moisture was rated 40% very short to short on Dec. 30, while 27% of the state's pastures were rated very poor to poor," USDA explains.
USDA's outlook says during the next several days, most of the nation will experience tranquil weather and a gradual warming trend. "Little or no precipitation can be expected during the next five days from the Intermountain West into the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys," USDA reports. Meanwhile, precipitation totals may approach an inch across the lower Southeast, while 1- to 2-inch totals may occur in western Washington, according to USDA. Southern Texas will receive some light precipitation, while snow showers will be widespread downwind of the Great Lakes, USDA continues.