Weather report: Cooler on the Plains

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In the West, Pacific storminess continues to result in widespread rain and snow showers across the northern half of the region. Currently, some of the heaviest precipitation is moving into the northern Rockies, while another region of unsettled weather is approaching the northern Pacific Coast. In contrast, warm, dry weather continues to promote Southwestern fieldwork. The Arizona cotton harvest was 73% complete on December 2.

On the Plains, cooler weather prevails in the wake of a cold front’s passage, although temperatures remain mostly above normal for this time of year. Hard red winter wheat continues to suffer from acute soil moisture shortages, which has led to poor emergence and establishment.

In the Corn Belt, showers in the vicinity of a cold front stretch from Michigan to Missouri. In the front’s wake, cooler air is overspreading the upper Midwest. However, unusual warmth continues in the Ohio Valley.

In the South, a few rain showers are developing from the central Gulf Coast into the Tennessee Valley. Throughout the region, unusually warm weather prevails in advance of a cold front. Where rain has not yet fallen, Southeastern fieldwork includes winter wheat planting and cotton and soybean harvesting. By December 2 in North Carolina, winter wheat planting was 88% complete. At the same time, the North Carolina cotton harvest was 95% complete, while 80% of the soybeans had been harvested.

Outlook: A cold front moving into the East will generate scattered showers through mid-week. Storm-total rainfall could reach 1 to 2 inches in the lower Mississippi Valley. Meanwhile, the last in the series of major Pacific storms will move into northern California and the Northwest, where totals could reach 2 to 4 inches. Late in the week, colder air will overspread the northern Plains and the Northwest, accompanied by occasional precipitation. Lateweek snow will be especially beneficial across the northern Plains and the upper Midwest. During the weekend, cold air will engulf the remainder of the West, while dry conditions will persist from southern California to the southern Plains. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for December 9-13 calls for near- to below-normal temperatures across the western and central U.S., while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail east of a line from Michigan to the western Gulf Coast region. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation from the Pacific Coast to the southern High Plains will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in the northern Plains and the eastern half of the U.S.



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