In the West, widespread rain and snow showers are breaking out in conjunction with a developing winter storm. The precipitation is helping to establish high-elevation snow packs in areas that have recently been warm and dry. Warmth lingers across the central and southern Rockies, but sharply colder weather prevails elsewhere.

On the Plains, a significant winter storm is underway across Montana, where blizzard warnings are in effect in northern parts of the state. The wind-driven snow is causing travel disruptions and increasing livestock stress, but benefiting winter wheat. Colder air is also overspreading the remainder of the northern half of the Plains, but warm, dry weather is maintaining stress on winter wheat across the southern Plains.

In the Corn Belt, warmer weather prevails in advance of an approaching storm system. The mild, dry conditions favor late-season fieldwork activities, especially in the eastern Corn Belt where winter wheat planting and corn and soybean harvesting have been delayed at times by wet weather.

In the South, frost was noted this morning in the lower Southeast as far south as northern Florida. Elsewhere, dry weather and a warming trend favors autumn fieldwork.

Outlook: In Northeastern areas affected by Sandy and the recent nor’easter, mild, dry weather will promote a return to storm recovery efforts. Meanwhile, wind-driven snow will persist into Saturday across portions of the northern Plains, followed by bitter cold. Accumulating snow can be expected as far south as the Sierra Nevada and the Intermountain West. Along the storm’s trailing cold front, locally severe weekend thunderstorms may occur from the southeastern Plains into the upper Midwest. By November 11-12, heavy rain (1 to 2 inches) can be expected from northeastern Texas into the Great Lakes region. Some beneficial precipitation will also fall in the Southwest, but significant rainfall will largely bypass the central and southern High Plains. By early next week below-normal temperatures will cover the western two-thirds of the U.S. In contrast, temperatures will rebound during the weekend to above-normal levels in the East. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for November 14-18 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures and precipitation across the majority of the U.S. Cooler-than-normal conditions will be confined to a section of the West centered on California, Nevada, and Arizona, while drier-than-normal weather will be limited to an area stretching across the central Rockies, northern and central Plains, and upper Midwest.