In the West, showery, unsettled weather prevails from northern California to the northern Rockies. A few showers also dot the Pacific Northwest. Recent storms have improved the liquid content of the Sierra Nevada snow pack to about 5 inches, roughly normal for early December. However, high-elevation snow deposition has been less than optimal due to warmth and high freezing levels associated with the storminess.

On the Plains, mild, dry weather is maintaining severe stress on rangeland, pastures, and winter wheat. Today’s high temperatures will approach 70°F as far north as western Nebraska.

In the Corn Belt, mild weather is quickly returning to areas west of the Mississippi River. Cool, breezy conditions prevail, however, in the Great Lakes region.

In the South, showers in the vicinity of a cold front stretch from the southern Mid-Atlantic States to the central Gulf Coast. In advance of the front, warm, mostly dry weather continues to promote late-season fieldwork in the southern Atlantic States.

Outlook: Toward week’s end, a surge of cold air will arrive across the nation’s northern tier. By Sunday, significantly colder air will overspread the Plains, Rockies, and Intermountain West. The cold surge will trail a storm system, expected to develop across the nation’s mid-section during the weekend and move into the Great Lakes States early next week. Snow, possibly significant, will spread from the central Plains into the upper Midwest from December 8-10. Meanwhile, locally heavy rain will erupt from the lower Mississippi Valley into the lower Great Lakes region. Mostly dry conditions will persist, however, from southern California to the southern Plains. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for December 10-14 calls for near- to below-normal temperatures across the western and central U.S., while warmer-than-normal weather will be confined to southern Texas and the eastern one-third of the nation. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal precipitation from the Pacific Coast to the central and southern Plains will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions across the northern Plains and from the Mississippi Valley to the East Coast.