USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, sharply colder air is arriving. Warmth lingers for a final day, however, on the southern Plains. A band of snow stretches from parts of southern and western Montana into western Nebraska, helping to replenish winter wheat’s protective snow cover that was lost due to recent warmth. At the end of January, hard red winter wheat rated in good to excellent condition ranged from 29% in Texas to 70% in Montana.
In the West, USDA states very cold weather in the Northwest contrasts with mild, dry conditions in California and the Southwest. Precipitation is falling near the boundary between warm and cold air, perpetuating harsh winter conditions across the interior Northwest.
In the Corn Belt, USDA reports scattered snow showers are occurring in the vicinity of a weak cold front. Cooler, breezy weather trails the front. Soft red winter wheat continues to overwinter well, despite standing water in some fields and the lack of a sustained snow cover. At the end of January, Midwestern soft red winter wheat rated in good to excellent condition ranged from 48% in Missouri to 81% in Ohio.
Satellite image with enhanced low cloud-top and ground temperatures for 6:45 a.m. EST (NOAA)
In the South, warm, dry weather prevails, states USDA. Across the Deep South, warmth and improved soil moisture have fostered some grass growth and early season fieldwork. Pasture recovery has lagged across the interior Southeast due to lingering drought and the effects of sharp cold snaps in mid-December and early January.
In its five-day outlook through Feb. 5, USDA says that for today, precipitation will be mostly confined to the nation’s northern tier, with the heaviest snow falling in parts of the northern Rockies. By Feb. 2, significant precipitation (locally 4 to 10 inches or more)— including high-elevation snow —will return to northern and central California. Five-day totals could reach 1 to 4 inches in the Northwest. In contrast, the Southwest will experience mild, dry weather. Much of the remainder of the U.S., excluding the Deep South, will note a brief return (or continuation) of cold weather, followed by an end-of-week warming trend. Toward week’s end, widespread but generally light showers will develop across the southern and eastern United.States.