USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, blizzard warnings have expired across North Dakota, although bitterly cold, breezy conditions persist. In fact, frigid, breezy conditions throughout the northern and central Plains are increasing livestock stress, with temperatures below -10 °F reported this morning in parts of Montana. Farther south, some light snow is overspreading the central High Plains.
In the South, USDA notes lingering showers are confined to the southern tip of Florida. Meanwhile, the interior Southeast continues to slowly rebound from an historic autumn drought that culminated in the late-November wildfire disaster in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Since rain began to fall, the surface elevation of Georgia’s Lake Lanier has risen more than 3½ inches, but remains about 10 feet below full pool.
Satellite image with enhanced low cloud-top temperatures for 6:45 a.m. EST (NOAA)
In the Corn Belt, USDA says colder air continues to arrive on gusty westerly winds. Dry weather prevails, except for snow showers in the upper Great Lakes region. Any remaining fieldwork is on hold until fields fully freeze.
In the West, snow showers are mostly confined to the central Rockies. Cold, dry weather prevails elsewhere. Freeze warnings are in effect early today in California as far south as the northern San Joaquin Valley, possibly requiring the use of protective measures for citrus and other temperature-sensitive winter crops, USDA says.
In its five-day outlook through Dec. 11, USDA says fast-moving weather disturbances will produce generally light precipitation in several areas of the country, including late-week and weekend snow across much of the northern U.S. However, dry weather can be expected during the next five days in much of the Southeast and from southern California to the southern High Plains. In contrast, several surges of Pacific moisture could result in 2- to 6-inch precipitation totals in parts of northern California and the Pacific Northwest. Totals of up to 1 to 3 inches may occur in the northern Rockies and northern Intermountain West. Meanwhile, cold weather will cover much of the country, except for a brief, late-week warm spell in the West. Cold conditions will be especially persistent on the northern Plains.