Seasonal weather covers the most of the Heartland
Across the Corn Belt, cloudy but mild weather prevails. Some light precipitation (rain and snow) is occurring in the western Corn Belt, but dry weather covers the remainder of the Midwest. An extensive but generally shallow snow cover across the northern and western Corn Belt has begun to erode amid a spell of above-normal temperatures.
On the Plains, light precipitation (rain and snow) is falling early Wednesday across eastern sections of Nebraska and the Dakotas. Mild, dry weather covers the remainder of the nation’s mid-section. Despite recent precipitation, which has benefited winter wheat, soil moisture shortages persist in some areas. At the end of December, USDA/NASS reported that topsoil moisture was rated more than one-half very short to short in several states, including Colorado (77% very short to short), North Dakota (71%), Montana (61%), South Dakota (59%), and Nebraska (56%).
In the South, a few showers are developing west of the Mississippi River. Meanwhile, cool, dry weather covers the Southeast. Scattered frost was noted Wednesday morning as far south as northern Florida, well north of the state’s citrus belt.
In the West, the latest in a series of Pacific storms is producing widespread Northwestern precipitation. Consistent with La Niña, the recent and ongoing storminess has eased Northwestern drought, while significant drought persists across the remainder of the western U.S. In Arizona, 88% of the rangeland and pastures were rated in very poor to poor condition at the end of December, according to USDA/NASS.