USDA: Bitter Cold for the Northern Plains & Corn Belt

January 31, 2013 02:10 AM
 

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, light snow is accompanying an arctic air mass over northern portions of the region, where today’s highs will average 30° to 40°F below normal. "A sufficient snowpack is affording winter wheat protection from the elements, although key crop areas in northern Montana remain partially exposed," USDA elaborates. In contrast, warmer-than-normal conditions are already returning to southern portions of the region, it continues.

In the West, USDA says snow continues to improve spring runoff prospects across the northern and central Rockies. "Rain and high-elevation snow are also falling in the Northwest, although warmer weather has raised snow levels," USDA adds.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says bitter cold weather in western and northern portions of the region is stressing livestock, although the coldest conditions are west and north of primary winter wheat areas.

In the South, drier weather is returning to the Southeast following yesterday’s heavy rain and strong to severe thunderstorms, USDA reports. "Sunny skies and above-normal temperatures prevail elsewhere," USDA adds.

USDA's outlook says for the remainder of today, a strong cold front will continue moving off the East Coast, although rain will linger over parts of the Northeast. "Behind the front, generally dry but cold weather will prevail across the central and eastern U.S.," USDA continues. However, snow showers will develop downwind of the Great Lakes, while a series of weak disturbances generate occasional light snow from the upper Midwest into the Corn Belt and Mid-Atlantic, according to USDA. Meanwhile, an arctic air mass will push steadily east from the northern Plains, bringing frigid conditions (20°F to 30°F below normal) to the Midwest, USDA explains. "Temperatures on the Plains will rapidly modify, however, with warmer-than-normal conditions returning to the region by week’s end," USDA reports. Out west, USDA says drier, somewhat milder conditions will prevail, although cold air will remain trapped in valley locations.


 

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