In the West, precipitation is confined to southern New Mexico and western Washington. In many other areas—especially from California to the Great Basin—the lack of cold-season precipitation is a mounting concern. In California, dryness is stunting pasture growth, while the lack of high-elevation snow could translate into summer water-supply issues.

On the Plains, drought-easing rain is falling across much of Texas, with some snow blanketing the westcentral portion of the state. In contrast, record-setting warmth prevails on the northern Plains, where today’s high temperatures will approach 60°F as far north as Montana.

In the Corn Belt, mild, dry weather prevails. Concerns exist with respect to developing drought in the western Corn Belt, which has been especially warm and dry in recent months.

In the South, scattered showers and thunderstorms are heaviest west of the Delta. The rain is recharging topsoil moisture and benefiting pastures and winter grains. In contrast, Florida remains unfavorably dry.

Outlook: A storm system affecting the south-central U.S. will drift northeastward, reaching the Mid-Atlantic region by mid-week. Storm-total rainfall could reach 1 to 3 inches from Texas to the Mid-Atlantic Coast. Meanwhile, sharply colder air will arrive at mid-week across the nation’s mid-section. The cold air will shift into the East by week’s end. Elsewhere, mostly dry weather will prevail, except for some precipitation across the nation’s northern tier. Late-week snow could become locally heavy in the vicinity of the Great Lakes. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for January 14-18 calls for below-normal temperatures nationwide, except for warmer-than-normal weather in the southern California, the Great Basin, and the Southwest. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation from California to the middle and lower Mississippi Valley will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions across the nation’s northern tier and much of the East.