Ag Weather Forum

Midwest Cold Wave Ahead

Mike Palmerino
By  Mike Palmerino , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
The U.S. forecast model indicates temperatures of around 20 degrees Fahrenheit below normal on Dec. 7. (Penn State graphic by Nick Scalise)

After what has been a very mild fall, we are seeing a change in the weather pattern as we enter the first week of meteorological winter. This change will allow some very cold air to enter the Northern Plains and Midwest from Western Canada during the middle of next week around Dec. 7.

We would expect to see temperatures averaging 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit below normal. This would imply lows in the single numbers below zero F in the Northern Plains and in the single numbers above zero F in the Upper Midwest. We do not expect to see any damaging cold in the Southern Plains winter wheat areas, with colder weather acting to put the crop into dormancy.

This cold weather is not expected to be accompanied by any significant snowfall in either the Northern Plains or Midwest states. Significant precipitation associated with the cold front will be mostly out ahead of the front in the warmer air, with the potential for moderate to heavy rain in the southern Midwest, Delta and southeast states. This will be very beneficial for the southern states which have been suffering from severe drought.

The impacts of this cold weather should be minimal on transportation due to the lack of significant snowfall. It will help to solidify the ground in the wet areas of the Upper Midwest where some corn harvest remains. It will also increase feed consumption for livestock.

Mike Palmerino can be reached at



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