In the West, precipitation is confined to the Pacific Northwest. Elsewhere, mild, dry weather prevails. Drought continues to adversely affect Southwestern rangeland and pastures, which in Arizona were rated 58% in very poor to poor condition on January 6.

On the Plains, showers and thunderstorms are affecting southern, central, and eastern Texas. Rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches have already occurred in those parts of Texas during the last 24 hours, with flash flooding reported in the San Antonio area. Meanwhile, unusually mild weather continues to erode winter wheat’s protective snow cover across the northern High Plains.

In the Corn Belt, some light rain is falling in the Ohio Valley and the lower Great Lakes region. Mild weather continues to melt snow that has been on the ground for 2 to 3 weeks in the Ohio Valley and the upper Midwest.

In the South, warm weather prevails in advance of an approaching storm. Today’s high temperatures will top 80°F across Florida’s peninsula. Farther west, light rain is overspreading the interior Southeast, while more substantial showers and thunderstorms are developing in the western and central Gulf Coast States. Due to the threat of additional heavy rain, flash flood watches have been issued for much of Louisiana and eastern Texas.

Outlook: Two major storms, one currently over the south-central U.S. and the other entering the Northwest, will influence the nation’s weather during the next 5 days. Both weather systems will produce heavy rain—totaling 2 to 5 inches—from the western and central Gulf Coast States into the eastern Corn Belt, resulting in possible flooding. The first storm will also produce beneficial precipitation on the southern half of the Plains, while the second system will result in widespread snow across the northern Plains, interior Northwest, and Intermountain West. A surge of cold air will trail the Northwestern storm, with below-normal temperatures covering the western half of the U.S. by week’s end. At the height of the cold wave, temperatures could fall to 0°F as far south as the central High Plains. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for January 14-18 calls for above-normal temperatures in the East, while colder-thannormal conditions will prevail across the western and central U.S. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation west of the Rockies will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in most areas from the Plains to the East Coast.