In the West, precipitation is temporarily shifting into the Four Corners region. A cooler, drier weather pattern in the Pacific Northwest is allowing localized lowland flooding to subside.

On the Plains, mostly dry weather prevails, despite an increase in cloudiness. A final day of mild weather is underway on the High Plains; for the second consecutive day, high temperatures will reach or exceed 80 degrees F in parts of western Texas. On the central and southern Plains, a portion of the winter wheat crop continues to be adversely affected by developing drought, breezy conditions, and rapid temperature fluctuations.

In the Corn Belt, snow is returning to the upper Midwest, causing renewed stress on livestock and travel difficulties. A cold pattern remains locked in place across the Corn Belt; most locations have snow on the ground.

In the South, diminishing winds across Florida allowed for a more variable temperature distribution. As a result, some locations experienced their coldest morning of the season to date, while other areas escaped a significant freeze. In addition, Florida’s producers continue to monitor the effects of previous cold weather December 7, 8, and 14) on vegetables and other freeze-sensitive crops.

Outlook: A chilly pattern will continue in much of the East, although milder air will overspread Florida and the remainder of the Deep South. Meanwhile, a fast-moving storm system will produce precipitation from the northern Plains into the Southeast. On December 15-16, snow associated with the storm will be heaviest from the upper Midwest into the central Appalachians. During the second half of the week, much colder weather will overspread the western half of the U.S. In addition, stormy weather will expand across the West, with 3 to 6 inches of precipitation possible by week’s end in parts of northern and central California and the Pacific Northwest. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for December 20-24 calls for above-normal temperatures in northern New England and from the Pacific Coast to the High Plains, while colder-than-normal weather will prevail from the lower and middle Mississippi Valley to the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic States. Meanwhile, above-normal precipitation in northern New England and from California to the northern Plains will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions from the southern Plains into the Southeast.