Temps continue to vary north, south across the Heartland
Across the Corn Belt, a sharp temperature gradient exists. Thursday’s high temperatures will range from near 0°F in the Red River Valley of the North to 60°F along the Ohio River. A few snow showers are occurring across the northern Corn Belt, while some light rain is falling in the lower Great Lakes region.
On the Plains, persistently cold conditions (locally below -10°F early Thursday), accompanied by patchy snow, are maintaining stress on livestock across much of Montana and the Dakotas. Meanwhile, mild, dry weather covers the southern half of the Plains, where Thursday’s high temperatures should generally range from 50 to 75°F. A protracted dry spell on the central and southern High Plains has sapped topsoil moisture, resulting in variable stress on winter wheat.
In the South, showers and a few thunderstorms extend from the middle Atlantic Coast to the lower Mississippi Valley. Rain has begun to dent short-term precipitation deficits in several areas, including the Mississippi Delta and portions of Virginia and the Carolinas. Meanwhile, unusual warmth continues across the region, particularly along and near the Gulf Coast, where Thursday’s high temperatures will approach, reach, or exceed 80°F.
In the West, significant precipitation is falling in parts of southern California and the Northwest. Debris flows remain a threat in southern California, especially on burn-scarred hillsides. Below-normal temperatures prevail throughout the West, maximizing the accumulation of high-elevation snow and helping to bank moisture for next spring and summer.