USDA: Beneficial Snow on the Plains

January 31, 2014 04:09 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, highly beneficial snow is overspreading parts of Nebraska, northern Kansas and eastern Colorado. "Elsewhere, warm weather prevails on the Southern Plains—where today’s high temperatures will approach or reach 80°F in some locations—while cold conditions persist on the northern Plains," USDA reports.

In the West, USDA says beneficial but widely scattered rain and s now showers are providing limited drought relief. "Precipitation is tapering to showers in California’s key watershed areas, where the Jan. 29-31 storm has barely dented long-term moisture deficits," USDA elaborates. In California’s Central Valley, downtown Sacramento’s record-setting winter spell without a drop of rain recently ended at 52 days (Dec. 8-Jan. 28), USDA details.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says generally cold, dry conditions prevail. "Early today, sub-zero temperatures were limited to the upper Midwest, where livestock have endured persistently cold conditions in December and January," USDA explains.

In the South, USDA reports temperatures are gradually rebounding in the wake of the recent winter storm and cold wave. A chilly rain lingers across Florida’s peninsula, USDA adds.

In its outlook, USDA says cold weather will make a return across much of the nation, excluding the lower Southeast, during the weekend and early next week. "Widespread storminess will accompany the cold pattern, leading to a variety of precipitation types (e.g. snow, sleet, freezing rain, and ra in) depending upon day and location," USDA reports. During the next five days, USDA explains precipitation totals could reach 1 to 3 inches, with locally higher amounts, in the Ohio Valley, lower Great Lakes region, Mid-South, Tennessee Valley, and northern Mid-Atlantic states. "In some areas, rain and melting snow may combine with ice jams to cause river flooding," USDA continues. Periodic showers will continue in the West, but precipitation amounts will not be high enough to provide significant drought relief.


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