In the West, temperatures are rebounding to near- or above-normal levels. Winter fieldwork is advancing in California and the Desert Southwest, while precipitation is confined to the Pacific Northwest.

On the Plains, cold weather and a few snow showers linger across eastern areas. Meanwhile, mild air is overspreading the High Plains. A patchy snow cover exists on the central and southern Plains, where a portion of the winter wheat crop remains stressed by drought and weather extremes.

In the Corn Belt, extreme cold prevails in the winter-weary upper Midwest. In Minnesota, today’s low temperatures generally ranged from -10 to -45 degrees F. Fresh snow is helping to protect the Midwestern soft red winter wheat crop from temperatures that fell below 0 degrees F as far south as northern Missouri and central portions of Illinois and Indiana.

In the South, fresh snow covers the ground from parts of Arkansas eastward to the Appalachians. The insulation and soil moisture improvements are favorable for pastures and winter grains. Cold, dry weather prevails across the Deep South, except for lingering warmth and showers in southern Florida.

Outlook: For today, snow will gradually end in the Northeast. During the next several days, a cold weather pattern will remain locked into place across the eastern half of the U.S. In contrast, mild weather will prevail across the northern High Plains and the Far West. During the weekend, rain and snow showers will accompany a developing storm system from the Northwest to the nation’s mid-section. By early next week, the intensifying storm will take aim on the eastern U.S. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for January 26-30 calls for below-normal temperatures south and east of a line from New Mexico to Michigan, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail in California, the northern High Plains, and the Northwest. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in southern Texas, peninsular Florida, and along the northern Atlantic Coast.