A more typical January “look and “feel” across the Heartland; moisture on the southern Plains

Across the Corn Belt, cloudy, breezy weather prevails.  Snow showers linger east of the Mississippi River.  Deep snow remains on the ground in the upper Midwest, including much of Nebraska, Minnesota, and the Dakotas, as well as parts of Iowa and Wisconsin.  Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, has had a continuous snow cover since November 29, with a peak depth of 16 inches earlier this month.

On the Plains, a protective snow cover is insulating winter wheat (and boosting topsoil moisture) across roughly the northern half of the region, except in parts of Montana.  In contrast, unfavorably dry conditions persist across much of the southern half of the Plains, where poorly established winter wheat continues to struggle amid a turn toward cooler weather.

In the South, mild, mostly dry weather is nearly ideal for off-season activities, including farm maintenance.  However, a few rain showers are developing in the western Gulf Coast region.  Elsewhere, high temperatures will reach 80°F or higher across the southern tip of Florida.

In the West, dry weather in California is allowing flood-recovery efforts to advance.  In agricultural areas where flooding occurred but water has receded, activities include road, levee, and farm repairs.  Meanwhile, parts of California— including the San Joaquin Valley—are facing the first in a series of freezes that may require protective measures for sensitive crops, including citrus.  Farther inland, snow is blanketing higher elevations of the Southwest.

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