Near-seasonal weather covers the Heartland
Across the Corn Belt, some light snow is falling east of the Mississippi River, mainly from Illinois to Ohio. Meanwhile, cold, dry weather prevails across the upper Midwest, where a general lack of snow cover has allowed producers to keep working outside on off-season chores and farm maintenance activities well into the winter season. From December 1-15, snowfall totaled just 0.2 inch in Fargo, North Dakota, and a trace in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
On the Plains, snow from Tuesday’s storm remains on the ground in many areas from Nebraska to Oklahoma, providing winter wheat with beneficial moisture and insulation. Official December 15 snowfall amounts included 3.2 inches in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and 2.0 inches in Dodge City, Kansas. In the storm’s wake, Wednesday morning’s low temperatures fell below 10° as far south as northwestern Oklahoma. Meanwhile, mild, dry weather covers the northern Plains.
In the South, an early-season winter storm is producing widespread precipitation east of the Mississippi River. Wintry precipitation (snow, sleet, and freezing rain) is falling in the southern Appalachians and adjacent foothills, resulting in local travel disruptions. Elsewhere, cool, breezy weather prevails from the Mississippi Delta westward, while warmth lingers across Florida’s peninsula.
In the West, widely scattered rain and snow showers stretch from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies. Mild, dry weather covers the remainder of the western U.S. An elevated wildfire threat persists in the coastal mountain ranges of southern California due to dry, breezy conditions. Extremely dry conditions extend into the Southwest, where Wednesday marks the 240th consecutive day (April 21 – December 16) without measurable precipitation in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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