Weather report: Temperatures plummet on the southern Plains

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In the West, cold conditions and a few snow showers linger in the Rockies. In contrast, mild, dry weather prevails in the Pacific Coast States.

On the Plains, snow blankets much of Montana and the Dakotas, providing beneficial moisture and insulation for winter wheat. This morning’s temperatures fell below -10°F in parts of the eastern Dakotas. Farther south, however, cold, dry conditions are increasing stress on livestock and maintaining stress on pastures, rangeland, and winter wheat. Low temperatures dipped below 0°F as far south as the central High Plains.

In the Corn Belt, a few wind-blown snow showers linger across the upper Midwest in the wake of a departing storm. Current snow depths include 9 inches in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, and 2 inches in both Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Madison, Wisconsin. This morning’s temperatures fell below -10°F in portions of the far upper Midwest. Meanwhile, colder air is sweeping into the eastern Corn Belt, where rain has largely ended. Overnight rainfall totaled an inch or more in parts of the Ohio Valley.

In the South, locally heavy showers and thunderstorms stretch from the Tennessee Valley to the central Gulf Coast. Colder, breezy conditions are affecting the Mid-South and the western Gulf Coast region, but warm, mostly dry weather continues to promote late-season fieldwork in the southern Atlantic States.

Outlook: A cold front currently stretching from the lower Great Lakes region to the central Gulf Coast will sweep through the East on Monday and early Tuesday. Cold conditions will briefly prevail in the front’s wake. By midweek, however, mild weather will return across much of the nation’s mid-section. During the second half of the week, above-normal temperatures will prevail east of the Rockies, except in parts of the northern Plains and upper Midwest. During the mid- to late-week period, storminess will increase west of the Rockies, especially in the Southwest and Pacific Northwest. Toward week’s end, parts of the southern Plains may receive some much-needed moisture. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for December 15-19 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions in California and parts of the Southwest. Meanwhile, belownormal precipitation across much of the Plains and Southwest will contrast will wetter-than-normal weather across the remainder of the U.S., including the Northwest and most areas east of the Mississippi River.



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