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Martell Sees Further Drought Improvements

March 4, 2013
By: Julianne Johnston, Pro Farmer Digital Managing Editor

The following content was provided by meteorologist Gail Martell of 

Heartland Drought Resolving in a Stormy Winter

The weather pattern has suddenly reversed course late in the winter to generate frequent storms and heavy precipitation in the central United States. The forecast continues stormy in the heartland, featuring two new storms this week, the first one targeting the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes and the second targeting the Central Great Plains.

Heavy Heartland Precip Past 2 Weeks

North Dakota is receiving heavy snow this morning that would spread into Minnesota, both key spring wheat areas in need of moisture. An elongated trough of low pressure would develop south- and eastward through across Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana, all expecting heavy precipitation, one-half to one inch of snow melt or cold rain.

Monday Friday Precipitation Forecast

Though the calendar has turned over to March the weather does not feel like spring. The Midwest is cold and covered by snow. Temperatures have been 4-8 degrees F below normal in the U.S. heartland from a heavy snow pack. Spring planting feels a long way off due to frozen field conditions. The frost-freeze line has sunk southward, extending across southern Kansas through central Missouri and then bending north across central Illinois into northern Indiana and Ohio.

Cold Last Week US Heartland

This week’s forecast continues colder than normal in the Northern Midwest while the Southern Plains gradually warms up to normal. Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas may receive more beneficial precipitation in a new storm early next week.

Southern Jet Stream Strengthening

A second wave of heavy precipitation is expected in the United States breadbasket. The GFS model forecasts a deep wave of low pressure Friday in southern California, strengthening Saturday over the Southwest U.S. Desert, eventually lifting northeastward into the Great Plains.

Strengthening Subtropical Jet Stream Fri Sat

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