In the West, a band of rain and snow showers stretches from northern and central California across the northern Intermountain region. Across roughly the northern two-thirds of the West, early-season storms have established high-elevation snow packs and benefited pastures and winter grains.

On the Plains, large temperature fluctuations continue across the southern half of the region, where a portion of the winter wheat crop is poorly established. Today’s high temperatures will exceed 70 degrees F as far north as eastern Colorado and western Kansas. Meanwhile, cold weather persists on the northern Plains, where some additional snow is falling.

In the Corn Belt, a band of snow extends from the Dakotas into Iowa. Meanwhile in the Ohio Valley, cold, mostly dry weather prevails in the wake of drought-easing or -eradicating rainfall.

In the South, freezes were noted as far south as northern Florida for the second consecutive morning, although temperatures remained well above 32 degrees F in Florida’s citrus belt. Meanwhile, late-season harvesting continues in the Southeast.

Outlook: For today and Saturday, a fast-moving storm will produce a stripe of snow from the northern Plains into the southern Mid-Atlantic States. In the storm’s wake, cold weather will persist across the eastern half of the U.S., accompanied by a prolonged period of snow squalls downwind of the Great Lakes. Farther south and west, sharp temperature fluctuations will continue on the central and southern Plains, where a return to cold weather during the weekend will be followed by another rapid warming trend early next week. Elsewhere, milder but unsettled weather will prevail in the West. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for December 8-12 calls for below-normal temperatures across the eastern half of the U.S., while warmer-than-normal weather will be confined to parts of California, the Great Basin, and the Southwest. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation across the majority of the nation will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in northern California, the Northwest, and from the lower Great Lakes region into northern New England.