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USDA: Record-Setting Warmth Prevails on the Northern High Plains

April 23, 2012
By: Meghan Pedersen, Pro Farmer Associate Editor

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USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, scattered frost was noted this morning, although little or no corn had emerged in the freeze-affected areas. "This morning's preliminary low temperatures included 28°F in Madison, Wisconsin; 31°F in Sioux City, Iowa; and 32°F in both South Bend, Indiana, and Moline, Illinois," according to USDA.

In the West, USDA reports very warm, mostly dry weather is promoting a rapid pace of fieldwork and crop development. "Washington's spring wheat planting, which had been lagging the normal pace (30% planted on April 15, compared to the five-year average of 49%) is accelerating," USDA explains.

On the Plains, dry weather favors fieldwork, winter wheat development, and summer crop emergence and growth, according to USDA. "Record-setting warmth prevails across the northern half of the High Plains, where today's high temperatures will approach 90°F," USDA adds.

In the South, USDA says cool, dry weather prevails, except for some lingering showers in the southern Mid-Atlantic region. "In the previously parched Atlantic Coast states, pastures, winter grains and emerging summer crops are benefiting from recent soil moisture improvements," USDA explains.

In its outlook, USDA says record-setting warmth across the northern High Plains and much of the West will gradually shift eastward during the early- to mid-week period. "During the second half of the week, warmth will arrive across the South, while markedly cooler air will engulf the West," USDA reports. Cooler-than-normal conditions will persist for much of the week across the Midwest and Northeast, according to USDA. Elsewhere, USDA says early-week storminess in the Northeast will include late-season snowfall from the central Appalachians into western New York. "By mid-week, scattered showers will return to parts of the Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic states, while showery, cooler weather will overspread the West," USDA says. Toward week’s end, USDA explains showers and thunderstorms will erupt across the northern and central Plains.


 

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