Unseasonably mild across the Heartland; more El Nino storminess in the West

Across the Corn Belt, above-normal temperatures prevail, while record-setting warmth covers the upper Midwest.  Wednesday’s high temperatures should reach 60°F as far north as the middle Missouri Valley, near the Iowa-Nebraska border.  With lambing and calving operations underway in many areas, producers welcome the warm weather, especially when compared to the cold, snowy conditions observed little more than 2 weeks ago.  

On the Plains, slightly cooler air is arriving across Montana and the Dakotas, although temperatures remain mostly above normal.  Meanwhile, record-setting warmth covers the central Plains, where Wednesday’s high temperatures should locally reach 65°F or higher.  Wheat, although largely exposed to potential weather extremes, continues to mostly overwinter well. 

In the South, dry weather favors off-season farm activities, although cool, breezy conditions linger along the southern Atlantic Coast.  Meanwhile in Texas, winter wheat is exhibiting some improvement due to recent precipitation and mild weather.  By February 4, forty-six percent of the winter wheat in Texas was rated in good to excellent condition, while 20% of the crop was rated very poor to poor. 

In the West, tens of thousands of customers in California remain without electricity, following back-to-back winter storms over the last week.  Early Wednesday, Western precipitation continues to shift farther inland, although rain and snow showers linger across California.  Meanwhile, heavy snow falling at higher elevations of the Southwest is helping to improve water-supply prospects.  

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