In the West, snow showers linger in the Four Corners States, while cold, dry weather dominates the remainder of the region. In California, chilly weather since late November has helped to acclimatize, or “cold harden,” the citrus crop.
On the Plains, showers across the southern half of the region are further easing the effects of long-term drought. Meanwhile, mild, dry weather covers the northern Plains.
In the Corn Belt, mild, wet weather prevails. Some of the heaviest rain is falling in the mid-Mississippi and lower Missouri Valleys. Fieldwork remains at a virtual standstill in Ohio, where nearly one-fifth
(18%) of the corn crop had not been harvested by December 11.
In the South, warm, dry weather is promoting winter wheat growth and late-season fieldwork, including soybean harvesting.
Outlook: A storm system will accelerate northeastward across the nation’s mid-section, producing periods of rain from the central Plains into the Great Lakes and Northeast. A trailing cold front will stall across the South, triggering occasional showers from eastern Texas into the Mid-Atlantic and interior Southeast. Ahead of the storm, daytime highs will average up to 20°F above normal in the Corn Belt, while cool conditions linger on the southern Plains. Out west, snow will diminish in the Four Corners region, while an upper-air disturbance brings the threat of rain and mountain snow to the Pacific Coast states. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for December 19-23 calls for above-normal temperatures from the northern Plains into the Northeast, with cooler-than-normal conditions confined to the immediate Gulf Coast and southern Rockies. Drier-than-normal weather is anticipated from California into the central Rockies, while above-normal rainfall persists from central and eastern Texas to the central Appalachians.