USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, range land, pastures and winter grains from Nebraska southward are benefiting from recent soil moisture improvements. Currently, a mild, mostly dry weather pattern has returned.
In the West, precipitation extends inland from the Pacific Northwest and northern California to the northern Rockies and the western Great Basin. High winds are raking coastal areas of the Pacific Northwest, while significant accumulations of ice and snow are occurring across interior sections of the Northwest.
In the Corn Belt, USDA says mild, dry weather prevails. However, widespread fog is occurring early today, especially across the central and eastern Corn Belt. In the wake of recent rainfall, several streams and rivers — also in the central and eastern Corn Belt — are running high.
In the South, locally heavy showers and thunderstorms are developing west of the Mississippi Delta. In contrast, warm, dry conditions prevail across the lower Southeast. On Jan. 15, topsoil moisture was rated 46% very short to short in Florida, with the most significant dryness affecting the peninsula.
In its five-day outlook through Jan. 22, USDA says multiple rounds of heavy precipitation will continue to overspread the West and the Southeast. The western precipitation will fall in three primary waves, with 5-day totals in California reaching 4 to 12 inches in coastal and mountain areas as far east as the Sierra Nevada. Other areas west of the Rockies could receive 1 to 4 inches, with significant high-elevation snowfall expected. Farther east, Southern rainfall could reach 2 to 5 inches across a broad area, with some of the heaviest precipitation occurring late in the weekend. In contrast, mostly dry weather will prevail during the next five days across the High Plains, while only light precipitation will reach the Northeast. Elsewhere, generally cold weather will accompany multiple Pacific storms across the West, helping to maximize high-elevation snow accumulations, while mild conditions will dominate the central and eastern U.S.