Weather report: Mild and dry on the Plains

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In the West, freeze warnings are in effect again in the San Joaquin Valley, although temperatures are considerably higher than those observed at the height of the cold snap. Elsewhere in the West, cool, dry weather prevails. Concerns are growing, especially in the Southwest, with respect to spring and summer water supplies, due to ongoing dryness, sub-par snow packs, and low reservoir levels.

On the Plains, mild, dry weather prevails, except for cold conditions in the eastern Dakotas. Much of the northern High Plains’ snow has melted in recent days, leaving nearly the entire the hard red winter wheat crop—from Montana to Texas—exposed to potential weather extremes.

In the Corn Belt, cold weather has returned to the far upper Midwest, where this morning’s temperatures fell to 0°F or below. Dry weather and near-normal temperatures cover the remainder of the Corn Belt.

In the South, warmth lingers along the immediate southern Atlantic Coast. Farther west, however, snow is falling as far south as central Mississippi, while a chilly rain is falling from the southern Appalachians into the southern Mid-Atlantic States.

Outlook: The last in a series of storms to affect the Southeast will move offshore by early Friday. For the remainder of today, additional precipitation could reach 1 to 2 inches in the southern Appalachians, while significant snow may briefly accumulate in the southern Mid-Atlantic region. Most of the remainder of the country will stay dry into early next week, except for occasional snow from the northern Plains into New England. Snow will be heaviest downwind of the Great Lakes. During the weekend and early next week, a strong push of cold air will arrive in the Midwest and Northeast. Temperatures could fall below -20°F across the far upper Midwest. In contrast, mild weather will return across much of the West and expand to reach the High Plains. The NWS 6- to 10- day outlook for January 22-26 calls for colder-than-normal conditions in the Great Lakes region and the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States, while near- to above-normal temperatures will cover the remainder of the U.S. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation across the majority of the nation will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather across the northern High Plains and the Great Lakes region.



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