Martell: Stormy Weather Eases Midwest Drought

December 31, 2012 04:35 AM

The following content was provided by meteorologist Gail Martell of 

Stormy December in U.S. Heartland Eases Drought

Welcome rain and snow is occurring today in the southern Great Plains that will benefit hard red winter wheat. The .78 inch of moisture received in December compares to 3 inches all together in the fall, September-November, in the top bread wheat states. December has become suddenly stormy due to a strong subtropical jet stream delivering waves of showers to the southern United States. The storm track currently extends from the southwest United States through Texas and Oklahoma, and eastward to Tennessee and North Carolina.

December Precipitation

The Midwest Corn Belt has received beneficial precipitation also. Repeated waves of rain and snow showers have occurred in December. Extremely dry field conditions had developed previously in Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Missouri from the late summer through fall.

Storm precipitation today will spread across the central and southern Great Plains into the Mississippi Valley. Tomorrow, the Ohio Valley, Deep South and Southeastern United States would get heavy, soaking rains. Quiet weather is expected to follow in early January with no important precipitation in the Great Plains, Midwest or Mid South. Temperatures are expected to warm strongly in early January in the Upper Midwest. The projected weather pattern is just opposite of December in the heartland, stormy and cold.

7 Day Precipitation Forecast

Fluctuating weather December into January reinforces in the idea of "ENSO-neutral" conditions, as projected by the Climate Prediction Center. The weather pattern resembles neither El Nino nor La Nina, but fluctuates between the 2 extremes.



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