USDA: Below Normal Temps Prevail East of the Rockies

February 25, 2014 02:35 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, a little bit of light snow is expanding eastward from near the Montana-Wyoming border, but dry weather covers the remainder of the nation’s mid-section. "Below-normal temperatures prevail throughout the region, but bitterly cold conditions—with sub-zero temperatures—are confined to the northern half of the Plains," USDA details. In Texas, 47% of the winter wheat was rated very poor to poor on Feb. 23, USDA adds.

In the West, USDA reports generally quiet weather prevails in advance of an approaching Pacific storm. "Unusual warmth persists in California, the Great Basin, and the Southwest, but cool weather and a few showers dot the northern tier of the West," USDA explains. In Arizona, 60% of the rangeland and pastures were rated in very poor to poor condition on Feb. 23, up from 24% at the beginning of the year, USDA continues.

In the Corn Belt, USDA reports snow showers are mostly confined to the middle Ohio Valley and areas downwind of the Great Lakes. Elsewhere, cold, dry weather prevails, USDA adds. "This morning’s temperatures plunged below 0°F— accompanied by gusty winds—from the Dakotas to Wisconsin, maintaining stress on livestock," according to USDA.

In the South, USDA says warmth lingers from southern Texas to the southern Atlantic region. "Colder air is settling across the remainder of the South, accompanied by a few rain showers," USDA continues.

In its outlook, USDA says during the next few days, the focus for heavy precipitation will shift into the West, with two storms expected to affect California. "Five-day precipitation totals could reach 2 to 5 inches in the Sierra Nevada and 3 to 6 inches in California’s coastal ranges," USDA elaborates. Meanwhile, USDA says rain will fall along the Gulf Coast, primarily on Feb. 25-26, with 1- to 2-inch totals likely. "Farther north, periods of generally light snow will fall across parts of the Plains and Midwest, primarily today and again toward week’s end," USDA reports. Temperatures will remain below normal east of the Rockies, except for some late-week warmth in the south-central U.S., according to USDA. "Meanwhile, cooler air will overspread California and the Southwest," USDA details.

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