USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, the first major cold wave of the winter of 2012-13 continues. "This morning's temperatures fell below -10°F in the far upper Midwest, including much of Minnesota, the eastern Dakotas and northern Wisconsin," USDA elaborates. Cold weather is maintaining stress on livestock, although Midwestern snow depths are mostly shallow, USDA explains. "Locally heavy snow has accumulated, however, downwind of the Great Lakes; in Michigan, for example, current depths include 9 inches in Muskegon and 7 inches in Traverse City," USDA elaborates.
In the West, USDA says highly beneficial precipitation is overspreading the Great Basin, Intermountain West, and Southwest. In advance of a developing storm system, mild, dry weather covers the Rockies, USDA reports.
On the Plains, USDA says an extremely sharp temperature gradient exists. "This morning's temperatures fell below -10°F in parts of the eastern Dakotas, while mild, breezy conditions prevail on the High Plains," USDA reports. Persistently dry weather remains a concern with respect to the poorly established hard red winter wheat crop, according to USDA.
In the South, light snow is ending across the southern Mid-Atlantic region, USDA says. "Elsewhere, dry weather favors offseason fieldwork," USDA adds. However, Florida remains unfavorably dry, with heavy irrigation demands persisting, USDA reports.
USDA's outlook says cold weather will persist through week’s end across the Midwest and Northeast, followed by a rapid warming trend. "By early next week, a new surge of cold air will arrive across the northern Plains and the West," USDA adds. The eastern one-third of the U.S. will experience some late-week precipitation, with rain expected in the Southeast and mostly snow in the Northeast, according to USDA. "Meanwhile in the West, widespread rain and snow showers will precede and accompany the transition to colder weather," USDA explains. During the weekend, some light but much-needed precipitation will develop across the Central and Southern Plains before moving into the Midwest, according to USDA.