USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, dry weather prevails, despite an increase in cloudiness. "Mild, breezy conditions are developing across the northern Plains, where some of winter wheat's protective snow cover has eroded in recent days," USDA reports.
In the West, USDA says an approaching storm system is generating widespread precipitation across the northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest. Elsewhere, cool, generally dry weather prevails, USDA adds. Sub-zero temperatures were common this morning across the Intermountain West, according to USDA.
In the Corn Belt, USDA says dry weather accompanies a warming trend. "Nevertheless, Midwestern snow cover remains extensive, especially across the Ohio Valley and the upper Midwest," USDA explains. Current snow depths include 5 inches in Des Moines, Iowa, and 3 inches in Indianapolis, Indiana, it elaborates.
In the South, dry weather favors off-season fieldwork, USDA reports. "Although recent rainfall has eased drought concerns in some areas, dryness remains a concern in eastern Alabama and portions of the southern Atlantic states," USDA explains.
In its outlook, USDA says chilly conditions will linger early in the week from southern California to the Southern Plains. "However, much of the remainder of the U.S. will experience early-week warmth," USDA reports. By mid-week, warmth will be especially prominent across the northern and eastern U.S., with high temperatures expected to briefly top 50°F as far north as Montana, USDA explains. Toward week’s end, sharply colder air will arrive across the western half the U.S., but midwinter warmth will linger farther east, according to USDA. Meanwhile, USDA says rain will develop early in the week across the south-central U.S. and spread into the Mid-South and lower Midwest. "Storm-total rainfall could reach 1 to 3 inches from the southeastern Plains into lower portions of the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys," USDA elaborates. Mid-week freezing rain could become a concern across parts of the central and southern Plains, USDA reports. "Elsewhere, significant precipitation will be confined to the Northwest, where five-day totals could reach 2 to 5 inches, while some periods of light snow will affect the nation’s northern tier," USDA elaborates.