USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, some light precipitation (rain and snow) is falling across southernmost areas, mainly in central and eastern Texas. Elsewhere, dry weather prevails, USDA adds. "Mild, breezy conditions are developing across the northern High Plains, eroding winter wheat's protective snow cover," USDA explains. Topsoil and subsoil moisture shortages remain acute in much of the hard red winter wheat belt; at the end of December, for example, Oklahoma's topsoil and subsoil moisture was rated 92% and 98% very short to short, respectively, according to USDA.
In the West, USDA says cool conditions linger most prominently in the southernmost Rockies, where some snow is falling. "Chilly conditions also persist in snow-covered portions of the Intermountain region," USDA continues. Elsewhere, showers are approaching the Pacific Northwest, USDA adds.
In the Corn Belt, USDA reports mild conditions are developing across the upper Midwest. "Chilly conditions persist across the remainder of the region, especially across the snow-covered Ohio Valley," USDA explains.
In the South, USDA says scattered showers are confined to Florida's peninsula. "Cool, dry conditions across the remainder of the region favors a limited return to off-season fieldwork, following a period of wet weather," USDA reports.
In the South, a band of rain stretches from the central Gulf Coast into the eastern Carolinas. Florida's peninsula, however, remains unfavorably dry. 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.
In its outlook USDA 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 over the weekend from the Intermountain West into the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys. "Meanwhile, precipitation totals may approach an inch across the lower Southeast, while 1- to 2- inch totals may occur in western Washington," USDA adds. Precipitation will gradually end across western and southern Texas, while snow showers will affect areas downwind of the Great Lakes, USDA reports. By early next week, a developing storm across the south-central U.S. will bring increasingly unsettled weather to the eastern half of the nation, with snow possible from the east-central Plains into the Great Lakes while rain falls south and east of the storm center, USDA continues.