In the West, cold conditions are gradually easing, although wet conditions persist across the northern half of the region. A substantial snow cover continues to insulate most Northwestern winter grains.

On the Plains, cold, dry weather prevails, although clouds are returning to northern areas. Winter wheat remains largely protected by a blanket of snow on the northern Plains, while more than one-quarter of the wheat was rated in very poor to poor condition in Colorado (40%), Texas (26%), and Kansas (26%).

In the Corn Belt, snow showers linger in the wake of Tuesday’s storm, mainly across eastern areas. Recent precipitation has provided significant drought relief in the eastern Corn Belt, although some wheat stands were poorly established when the period of winter dormancy began.

In the South, freezes were noted this morning as far south as south-central Texas, but temperatures remained well above 32 degrees F in key winter agricultural areas of the lower Rio Grande Valley. Colder air is overspreading the remainder of the South in the wake of a cold front’s passage. On Tuesday, high winds associated with the front resulted in localized wind damage from Virginia to the central Gulf Coast.

Outlook: For today, heavy rain will continue in the Northeast, while snow squalls will develop downwind of the Great Lakes. During the mid- to late-week period, the focus for active weather (rain and snow) will return to the Northwest. By Friday, snow will spread eastward across portions of the northern Plains and upper Midwest. Much of the nation will continue to experience cold weather, although warmth will make a late-week appearance across the southwestern and south-central U.S. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for December 6-10 calls for near- to below-normal temperatures nationwide, except for warmer-than-normal conditions from California into the Southwest. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in northern New England and the Pacific Northwest.