USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, unusually mild weather -- accompanied by rain showers -- covers the Ohio Valley in advance of a developing storm system. Some freezing rain is occurring from northern Illinois into southern Lower Michigan. Meanwhile, very cold weather is bringing renewed livestock stress across the far Upper Midwest (e.g. eastern North Dakota), where this morning's temperatures fell below -10°F, USDA states.
In the West, cool weather has returned to many areas, although temperatures remain far above early-December levels. In Arizona, a developing storm is producing widespread precipitation, including heavy snow on the Mogollon Rim, USDA notes.
On the Plains, colder weather prevails, except for some lingering warmth in southern and eastern Texas. Patches of light precipitation are developing on the southern and central Plains; in the latter region, this includes some light snow and freezing drizzle, says USDA.
In the South, USDA says warm weather in advance of a cold front favors late-season fieldwork. A few rain showers are crossing the Ohio River and moving into Kentucky, it notes.
In its outlook, USDA another period of active weather is in store for much of the nation. Wintry precipitation will continue to develop across portions of the Plains, Midwest, and Northeast, with a variety of warnings and advisories for snow, sleet, and freezing rain in effect from northern Texas to Michigan, eastward to Maine. Just to the south, rainfall could reach two to five inches or more from the southeastern Plains to the lower Great Lakes region, where flash flood watches are in effect. A sharp but relatively short-lived cold snap will trail the storm, especially across the Plains and Midwest, but above-normal temperatures will return to areas as far east as the High Plains by early next week. At the same time, sub-zero temperatures can be expected early next week as far south as Nebraska, Iowa, and northern Missouri.