On the Plains, USDA reports a strong high-pressure system is centered over the Red River (of the North) Valley. “This morning’s low temperatures generally ranged from -10 to -30°F in North Dakota, as well as northern and eastern Montana,” USDA continues. A substantial snow cover is helping to insulate winter wheat across the northern Plains, but worsening drought continues to grip the southern Plains’ winter wheat production areas, according to USDA.
In the Corn Belt, USDA reports cold, dry weather prevails. “Most of the region remains firmly in the grip of winter, with all but the southern Corn Belt under a thick blanket of snow,” USDA reports. Sub-zero temperatures were noted early today throughout the upper Midwest, while current snow depths include 13 inches in Rockford, Illinois; 10 inches in Grand Rapids, Michigan; and 7 inches in Des Moines, Iowa, USDA continues.
In the West, USDA reports snow showers dot the Great Basin and the Intermountain region, accompanied by colder weather. “Near- to below-normal temperatures also cover the remainder of the West, following the recent, record-setting warm spell,” USDA continues.
In the South, USDA says rain showers linger, mainly in the Atlantic Coast States. “Recent, widespread rains have slowed off-season farm activities but have significantly reduced cool-season precipitation deficits,” USDA continues.
A series of fast-moving disturbances will produce generally light precipitation in a wide variety of regions. “For example, early- to mid-week precipitation in the West will result in local totals in excess of an inch,” USDA continues. Some of the most beneficial showers will occur in drought-affected areas of the Southwest, according to the department. “Late in the week, however, warm, dry weather will return across the West,” USDA adds. Meanwhile, markedly warmer weather will arrive by midweek across the nation’s mid-section, including the Plains and Midwest, according to USDA. Subsequently, USDA says a strong cold front will sweep into the central U.S. Late-week rainfall in advance of the front could become heavy in the Ohio Valley and environs, USDA continues.