In the West, wet weather prevails across the northern half of the region. In the Southwest,dry weather accompanies a gradual warming trend.

On the Plains, a warming trend is underway as Arctic high pressure shifts southeastward. Nevertheless, this morning’s temperatures fell below 0 degrees F as far south as central and eastern Kansas. However, a snow cover is helping to protect the northern and central Plains’ winter wheat from weather extremes.

In the Corn Belt, cold weather prevails. Some light snow is returning to the upper Midwest, where persistently cold conditions and 6- to 18-inch snow depths are maintaining stress on livestock.

In the South, Florida escaped a significant freeze, although temperatures locally dipped slightly below 30 degrees F into central portions of the peninsula. Meanwhile, substantial snow remains on the ground as far south as Arkansas and northern parts of Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.

Outlook: Arctic high pressure will drift eastward today, reaching the southern Appalachians by Friday morning. Florida’s peninsula will face one more night of possible freezes as winds diminish. During the weekend, a series of fast-moving disturbances will produce light snow across the nation’s northern tier. By early next week, a more significant storm will begin to take shape across the nation’s mid-section. Rain can be expected in the South, while snow will spread from the northern and central Plains into the Northeast. In the West, precipitation will be confined to the northern half of the region. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for January 18-22 calls for below-normal temperatures in most areas east of the Rockies, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail in much of the West. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation from southern California to the lower Mississippi Valley will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions from the northern and central Rockies eastward to the northern and middle Atlantic States.