USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, winter wheat is exposed to potential weather extremes due to ongoing warmth, although a few rain and snow showers are overspreading Montana. "Farther south, today’s high temperatures could approach or reach 80°F in parts of Texas and southwestern Oklahoma," USDA details.
In the West, USDA reports significant precipitation is overspreading northern California. A"ccording to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, 63% of California remains in extreme to exceptional (D3 to D4) drought, down from a maximum of 82% in October 2014," USDA elaborates. Elsewhere, mild, dry weather prevails in the Southwest, while another round of precipitation is approaching the soggy Pacific Northwest, it continues.
In the Corn Belt, USDA says cool, windy weather prevails in the lower Great Lakes region, accompanied by snow showers and squalls. "In contrast, mild, dry air is expanding across the western Corn Belt," USDA adds.
In the South, USDA reports dry weather has finally returned to southern Florida, where the latest round of heavy rain caused additional concerns for vegetable producers who have s een crop quality undermined by stormy winter weather. "Elsewhere, cool weather in the Southeast contrasts with a warming trend west of the Mississippi Delta," USDA continues.
In its outlook, USDA says the latest in a series of Pacific storms will move ashore today across northern California and the Pacific Northwest. "During the weekend, another Pacific storm will arrive farther south, crossing southern California and the Four Corners States," USDA continues. Five-day precipitation totals could reach 4 to 6 inches in northern California and the Pacific Northwest, while widespread 1- to 4-inch amounts can be expected in southern California, the Rockies, and higher elevations of the Southwest and Intermountain West, USDA details. Early next week, it says the second storm will emerge across the central Plains as a major winter storm. "Primary storm impacts may include wind-driven snow from the central Plains into the upper Midwest and severe thunderstorms across the South. Sharply colder weather will trail the storm," according to USDA.