Across the Corn Belt, frigid conditions persist, with Tuesday morning’s temperatures falling below 0° in nearly all locations. A deep snow cover and snow drifts continue to complicate travel in the central and eastern Corn Belt, where current snow depths include 13 inches in Rockford, Illinois, and Indianapolis, Indiana.
On the Plains, bitterly cold weather has begun to ease, except in the eastern Dakotas. At the height of the cold wave, snow helped to insulate winter wheat in many areas, although there was a notable gap in coverage across much of Nebraska, south-central and southwestern South Dakota, and north-central Kansas. On January 6, low temperatures in those areas with little or no snow cover generally ranged from -5 to -15°.
In the South, winter agricultural areas across Deep South Texas and Florida’s peninsula escaped without a major freeze Tuesday morning, although Wind Chill Advisories have been posted. Meanwhile, Hard Freeze Warnings were in effect early Tuesday along the Gulf Coast from eastern Texas to Florida’s panhandle. In southern Louisiana, where temperatures plunged to near 20°, most of last year’s sugarcane has already been harvested.
In the West, mild, mostly dry weather prevails, despite an increase in cloudiness. A few rain and snow showers are overspreading the Pacific Northwest. In Arizona, the cotton harvest was 99% complete by January 5, ahead of the 5-year average of 95%. Meanwhile, the average water content of the high-elevation Sierra Nevada snow pack stands at 2 inches, less than 20% of the early-January normal.