Weather report: First significant winter storm in the West

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In the West, the first significant winter storm of the season is producing rain and high-elevation snow in Arizona and southern California. Meanwhile, cold, dry air has settled across the Northwest.

On the Plains, unusually cold weather prevails. This morning’s temperatures dipped below 0°F as far south as northern and western Nebraska. Snow covers a portion of the northern Plains’ winter wheat, but some of the crop is exposed to the early-season cold wave. Farther south, the season’s first major winter weather event is unfolding across the southern half of the Plains, where precipitation (snow and freezing rain) is developing.

In the Corn Belt, late-season harvest activities remain mostly on hold in the wake of recent precipitation. Currently, rain and snow showers linger across the eastern Corn Belt. Meanwhile, snow depths include an inch in Madison, Wisconsin; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Des Moines, Iowa. Very cold air is arriving in the upper Midwest, where this morning’s low temperatures generally ranged from -5 to 10°F.

In the South, locally heavy showers and thunderstorms stretch from Mississippi to eastern Texas. The rain is halting fieldwork, including cotton harvest activities in the northern Mississippi Delta. Meanwhile in the Southeast, a final day of warm, mostly dry weather favors winter wheat planting and summer crop harvesting.

Outlook: An active weather pattern will cause a variety of disruptions for pre-holiday travelers during the next few days. A slow-moving storm currently developing over the Southwest will trigger widespread rain and high-elevation snow in the Four Corners States through much of the weekend. Meanwhile, a substantial winter weather event will unfold across the south-central U.S., with widespread, heavy snow expected on the southern High Plains and disruptive freezing rain accumulations occurring as far south as central Texas. Farther north, cold, windy weather will engulf the Midwest and East during the weekend, while widespread sub-zero readings can be expected in the north-central U.S. Early next week, the Southwestern storm will drift eastward, leading to heavy rain in the Southeast. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for November 27 – December 1 calls for below-normal temperatures across the eastern two-thirds of the U.S., while warmer-than-normal weather will be confined to the northern Rockies and the Pacific Coast States. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal precipitation across the majority of the nation will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in the south-central U.S. and along the Atlantic Seaboard

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