In the West, temperatures are returning to near-normal levels, following the recent cold snap. Dry weather is promoting late-autumn fieldwork in California and the Southwest.
On the Plains, mild air is overspreading Montana, but chilly conditions persist elsewhere. Winter grains are easing into dormancy and in some areas remain covered by snow.
In the Corn Belt, snow showers are mostly confined to the Great Lakes region. Cold, dry weather covers the remainder of the Midwest. However, fields have not yet frozen in the waterlogged eastern Corn Belt, largely preventing a return to corn harvesting and other late-season fieldwork.
In the South, winter agricultural areas from southern Texas to Florida’s peninsula were spared a freeze, in part due to an increase in cloudiness and the development of a few rain showers. Meanwhile, producers are resuming late-season Southeastern fieldwork, including winter wheat planting and soybean harvesting.
Outlook: During the next several days, temperatures will gradually rebound. In fact, warmer-than-normal weather will develop across the northern Plains and upper Midwest during the weekend. By early next week, mild weather will return to the eastern half of the U.S. Aside from some weekend showers in southern Texas and the southern Atlantic region, mostly dry weather will prevail. By early next week, however, rain and snow showers will develop in the Southwest. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for December 14-18 calls for colder-than-normal weather from the Rockies to the Pacific Coast, while warmer-than-normal conditions prevail east of the Mississippi. Mostly below-normal precipitation is expected in Florida and from the Plains westward. In contrast, wetter-than-normal weather will persist from the Delta into the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes region.