In the West, a cool weather pattern persists. A few rain and snow showers dot the Northwest, while a more significant batch of precipitation is crossing northern and central California. The wet season has gotten off to an extremely slow start in California, where today’s showers are especially beneficial with respect to pasture and rangeland growth.

On the Plains, drought-easing rains linger across Texas, particularly in central and northeastern parts of the state. Elsewhere, cool, breezy weather prevails in the wake of a cold front’s passage.

In the Corn Belt, rain is falling across eastern portions of the region. In addition, some lowland flooding is occurring, especially in Indiana. Corn harvesting and other late-season fieldwork activities remain on indefinite hold in Ohio and neighboring states.

In the South, a band of rain stretches from Kentucky to eastern Texas. Especially wet conditions exist in Arkansas, where some lowland flooding is developing. In contrast, warm, dry weather favors soybean
harvesting and other late-season fieldwork in the Southeast.

Outlook: A cold front will sweep into the Northeast later today, preceded and accompanied by widespread showers. Meanwhile, the front will stall across the South, where rain will linger into Saturday. By early next week, widespread, drought-easing precipitation will return to the south-central U.S. During the next several days, there will be rapid temperature fluctuations across much of the nation. For example, mild weather in the East will be replaced by cooler conditions during the weekend, while temperatures will quickly rebound to above-normal levels across the nation’s mid-section. The West will also experience a weekend warming trend. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for December 20-24 calls for above-normal temperatures from the northern Plains into the Northeast, while colder-than-normal weather will prevail across much of the nation’s southern tier. Meanwhile, above-normal precipitation from southern and eastern Texas to the Carolinas will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions from California and Oregon eastward into the middle Mississippi Valley.