USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility on the Plains, showers across the southern half of the region are further easing the effects of long-term drought. "Meanwhile, mild, dry weather covers the northern Plains," USDA says.
In the West, USDA reports snow showers linger in the Four Corners states, while cold, dry weather dominates the remainder of the region. "In California, chilly weather since late November has helped to acclimatize, or 'cold harden,' the citrus crop," USDA explains.
In the Corn Belt, mild, wet weather prevails, according to USDA. "Some of the heaviest rain is falling in the mid-Mississippi and lower Missouri Valleys," USDA adds. Fieldwork remains at a virtual standstill in Ohio, USDA reports where nearly one-fifth (18%) of the corn crop had not been harvested by Dec. 11.
"In the South, warm, dry weather is promoting winter wheat growth and late-season fieldwork, including soybean harvesting," USDA says.
In its outlook, USDA says a storm system will accelerate northeastward across the nation’s mid-section, producing periods of rain from the central Plains into the Great Lakes and Northeast. "A trailing cold front will stall across the South, triggering occasional showers from eastern Texas into the Mid-Atlantic and interior Southeast," USDA explains. Ahead of the storm, daytime highs will average up to 20°F above normal in the Corn Belt, while cool conditions linger on the southern Plains, according to USDA. "Out west, snow will diminish in the Four Corners region, while an upper-air disturbance brings the threat of rain and mountain snow to the Pacific Coast states," USDA explains.