Power Hour: Unseasonably Cool Weather Plagues the Midwest

March 25, 2014 07:00 AM
Power Hour: Unseasonably Cool Weather Plagues the Midwest

A rapidly developing coastal storm will contribute to late-season snowfall in portions of the Mid-Atlantic States, according to USDA’s agricultural weather highlights. Tonight and on Wednesday, the storm will graze the northern Atlantic Coast with heavy snow and high winds. Meanwhile, a prolonged period of heavy precipitation will return to the Northwest.

Five-day precipitation totals could reach 4 to 10 inches in the Pacific Northwest and 2 to 4 inches in the northern Rockies. Precipitation will occasionally spread as far south as the Sierra Nevada, where totals of at least 1 to 3 inches can be expected. Mostly dry weather will persist, however, from southern California to the southern High Plains.

The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for March 30 – April 3 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions across the lower Southeast and the northern tier of the U.S. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation in the south-central U.S. will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather from the Pacific Coast to the northern Plains, as well as the Midwest and Northeast.

Watch AgDay’s weather forecast for March 25, with AgDay Meteorologist Mike Hoffman:

Here’s a regional weather overview:

In the West, wet weather is returning to the northern Pacific Coast. Elsewhere, warm, dry weather continues to prematurely melt snow, especially in California and the Intermountain West.

On the Plains, chilly conditions prevail. Precipitation is still badly needed on the southern High Plains to arrest recent declines in crop and rangeland conditions. On March 23, the portion of the winter wheat rated in very poor to poor condition stood at 55% in Texas, 42% in Oklahoma, and 21% in Kansas.

In the Corn Belt, unseasonably cold, breezy weather trails Monday’s light precipitation event. This morning’s temperatures fell below 10°F in parts of the far upper Midwest. Meanwhile, some light snow lingers from Michigan and Indiana eastward.

In the South, unusually cold air is arriving in the wake of a departing low-pressure system. Rain lingers along the southern Atlantic Coast, while mixed precipitation (rain and snow) is falling from the Tennessee Valley into the southern Mid-Atlantic region. The NWS has already issued freeze warnings, valid for Wednesday morning, mainly from Mississippi to South Carolina, due to the threat to tender vegetation. In Georgia, for example, blooming had occurred by March 23 on 84% of the state’s peaches and 51% of the blueberries.

Related story: Flooding, Drought and More: What Spring Has In Store

Check your forecast: View your weather conditions down to the field-level with AgWeb's Pinpoint Weather

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