Temps, weather vary greatly across the Heartland
Across the Corn Belt, wintry weather is traversing areas from North Dakota to Michigan. In fact, significant travel difficulties are occurring Monday from North Dakota to near Lake Superior, with local blizzard conditions due to snow and blowing snow. The harsh conditions are also increasing livestock stress. Meanwhile, unusually warm weather prevails across the southern Corn Belt; Monday’s high temperatures will reach or exceed 70°F in parts of the Ohio Valley.
On the Plains, bitterly cold air has edged into Montana and western North Dakota, where Monday’s low temperatures generally ranged from 0 to -25°F. Meanwhile, the remainder of North Dakota is contending with near-blizzard conditions due to snow, blowing snow, gusty winds, and falling temperatures. In stark contrast, record-setting warmth and worsening drought conditions continue to stress winter wheat on the southern Plains. In addition, an elevated wildfire threat persists across the southern half of the High Plains. Monday’s high temperatures should reach 80°F as far north as central Texas.
In the South, dry weather and record-setting high temperatures favor off-season fieldwork and farm maintenance in advance of Western and Northern storminess. Monday’s high temperatures will exceed 70°F across much of the region, with readings of 80°F or higher possible along and near the Gulf Coast.
In the West, recent storminess has impressively boosted high-elevation snowpack and has provided many valley locations with drought-easing rain. Early Monday, precipitation continues in many areas, especially along and northwest of a line from central California to the northern Intermountain West. According to the California Department of Water Resources, the average water equivalency of the Sierra Nevada snowpack reached 13 inches (nearly 150% of normal) by December 26. Elsewhere, the coldest air of the season is edging southward across the Northwest, accompanied by gusty winds.