In the West, drier, milder weather is aiding Northwestern recovery efforts from the recent snow and ice storm. Meanwhile, highly beneficial precipitation is falling from California into the Great Basin, as the storm track has temporarily shifted southward.
On the Plains, recent storms have improved winter wheat’s protective snow cover across northern areas, including Montana and South Dakota. Meanwhile, parts of the southern Plains have experienced a recent return to unfavorably warm, dry conditions. In Texas, for example, nearly three-quarters (74%) of the rangeland and pastures were rated in very poor to poor condition on January 15, along with 46% of the winter wheat.
In the Corn Belt, frozen precipitation—mostly snow—is falling across the upper Midwest, where snow depths have reached 6 inches in locations such as La Crosse, Wisconsin, and Waterloo, Iowa. Meanwhile, showers and thunderstorms are perpetuating soggy conditions across the eastern Corn Belt, including Ohio.
In the South, showers and thunderstorms are providing beneficial moisture. However, thunderstorms have also caused localized wind and hail damage, particularly across Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama, as well as western portions of Kentucky and Tennessee.
Outlook: A storm system centered over the Great Lakes region will drift northeastward into eastern Canada and weaken, although precipitation will linger for much of the day across the Great Lakes and Eastern States. Meanwhile, a storm crossing California will reach the south-central U.S. by Wednesday. During the mid- to lateweek period, beneficial precipitation will return to areas from the southern Plains into the Southeast. Elsewhere, precipitation will also return to the Northwest, while mostly dry weather will prevail across the northern and central Plains. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for January 28 – February 1 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions in the Pacific Northwest. Meanwhile, drier-than-normal weather across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with near- to above-normal precipitation across Florida’s peninsula and from the Great Lakes region into the Northeast.