In the West, cold air is bleeding across the Rockies into the Intermountain region. A few snow showers linger across the southern Rockies. In California and the Desert Southwest, dry weather favors fieldwork.
On the Plains, a blizzard warning is in effect from central Oklahoma into eastern Kansas for heavy snow, bitter cold, and high winds. This morning’s low temperatures fell below 0 degrees F as far south as eastern Colorado and western Kansas, and plunged to near -40 degrees F in northern Montana. Bitterly cold air is a threat to exposed winter wheat on the High Plains, where a patchy, shallow snow cover is providing some limited protection. Prior to the cold weather’s arrival, on January 30, more than half (52%) of Texas’ winter wheat crop was rated in very poor to poor condition, according to USDA/NASS.
In the Corn Belt, a blizzard warning is in effect for today across much of Missouri, Illinois, southern portions of Wisconsin and Michigan, eastern Iowa, and northern Indiana. Currently, above-freezing Midwestern temperatures are confined to the lower Ohio Valley, while frozen precipitation (snow, sleet, and freezing rain) is rapidly developing and expanding across the Corn Belt from southwest to northeast.
In the South, freezing rain is affecting northwestern Arkansas, while rain is falling in the western and central Gulf Coast States. In advance of an approaching storm, warm, mostly dry weather covers the Southeast.
Outlook: For today and tonight, a major winter storm will continue to unfold from the central and southern Plains into the Midwest and Northeast. Ice accumulations will occur from the Ozark Plateau into the northern Mid- Atlantic region, while wind-driven snow will fall from the southeastern Plains into the Northeast. From February 2-5, freezes may occur as far south as Deep South Texas. Sub-zero temperatures will be widespread on Wednesday and Thursday as far south as the southern High Plains and the Ozark Plateau. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for February 6-10 calls for below-normal temperatures nearly nationwide, with warmer-than-normal weather confined to areas along and near the Pacific Coast. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions from California to the lower Mississippi Valley.