In the West, cool, mostly dry weather prevails. Despite an encouraging start to the 2015-16 winter wet season in California and the Great Basin, sustained storminess will be needed to replenish soil moisture and start filling reservoirs, following 4 years of drought.

On the Plains, a widespread snow cover is helping to insulate most of the winter wheat crop. However, a gap in coverage exists on the central High Plains. Current snow depths include 10 inches in Lubbock, Texas; 5 inches in Omaha, Nebraska; and 3 inches in Great Falls, Montana. Blizzard recovery efforts are ongoing across the southern High Plains, while lowland flooding continues in eastern parts of Oklahoma and Texas.

In the Corn Belt, snow showers linger across the upper Midwest, resulting in lingering travel difficulties. Farther south, significant lowland flooding continues in the middle Mississippi Valley and environs, leaving roads locally inaccessible and some pastures and winter wheat fields under water.

In the South, mild, showery weather lingers in the southern Atlantic States. Dry weather covers the remainder of the region, although significant lowland flooding persists in parts of the mid-South.

Outlook: Although dry weather has returned, significant river flooding will persist for days (or weeks) in a broad area stretching from eastern sections of Oklahoma and Texas into the middle Mississippi and lower Ohio Valleys. Most of the nation will experience several dry days in a row, although snow showers will linger in the vicinity of the Great Lakes and rain will continue in parts of the South. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 2 to 4 inches along the central Gulf Coast and 1 to 2 inches in southern Texas and the southern Atlantic States. Meanwhile, cold weather will continue in the West, accompanied by a few snow showers. As the New Year begins, cool weather will replace previously mild conditions in the eastern U.S.

The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for January 3 – 7, 2016, calls for the likelihood of near- to below-normal temperatures nationwide, except for warmer-than-normal weather in central coastal California and across the nation’s northern tier from North Dakota eastward. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation in the northern half of the U.S. and many areas east of the Mississippi River will contrast with wetterthan- normal conditions in southern Florida and from central and southern California to the southern Plains.

Contact: Brad Rippey, Agricultural Meteorologist, USDA/OCE/WAOB, Washington, D.C. (202-720-2397) Web Site: http://www.usda.gov/oce/weather/pubs/Daily/TODAYSWX.pdf