Weather

Generally “quiet,” near-seasonal weather covers much of the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, mild, dry weather continues.  Dozens of upper Midwestern communities recently completed a record warm December, with monthly temperatures averaging more than 12°F above normal—and breaking records from 1939— in South Dakota locations such as Sisseton and Watertown.  

On the Plains, dry weather accompanies generally near- or above-normal temperatures.  Wednesday’s high temperatures should range from near 20°F in the Red River Valley of the North to 55°F or higher in much of Texas and southern Oklahoma.  Following last week’s storm, patchy snow remains on the ground across the northern half of the region, mainly in Nebraska and the Dakotas, with some ongoing benefit to winter wheat. 

In the South, rain is falling in the central Gulf Coast States.  Cool, dry weather covers the remainder of the South.  In fact, a Freeze Warning was in effect early Wednesday in parts of southeastern Georgia and northern Florida.  However, Florida’s key winter agricultural areas remain well above 32°F.  In Florida, according to USDA/NASS, cool-season crops are reported to be in good condition, with harvest active for crops such as green beans, yellow squash, zucchini, sweet corn, eggplant, and peppers.

In the West, rain and snow showers are moving farther inland across the Pacific Coast States and the western Great Basin.  The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which began 2024 with an average water equivalency of 2.5 inches (about 25% of the early-January normal), according to the California Department of Water Resources, is slowly improving amid the suddenly showery regime.  Farther inland, in advance of the Western storminess, mild, dry weather prevails.   

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