USDA: Bitter Cold Stresses Livestock in the Midwest

January 22, 2013 02:14 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, bitterly cold, breezy weather is increasing livestock stress. "This morning's low temperatures generally ranged from 0°F to -20°F in the upper Midwest," USDA elaborates. Precipitation is confined to the middle Missouri Valley, where some light snow is falling, and areas downwind of the Great Lakes, according to USDA.

In the West, USDA says cool conditions are confined to the Northwest, where dense fog is causing some travel disruptions. "Throughout the region—and especially in the Southwest—the lack of January precipitation is increasing concerns with respect to sub-par snow packs and summer water supplies," USDA explains.

On the Plains, USDA reports dry weather prevails, except for some light snow in the vicinity of an Arctic front draped across eastern Nebraska and neighboring areas. "Mild, breezy weather on the High Plains contrasts with frigid conditions in the eastern Dakotas," USDA continues. The morning's temperatures fell to near -20°F in the Red River Valley, along the North Dakota-Minnesota border, USDA elaborates.

In the South, USDA says cool, dry weather prevails, but this morning's temperatures remained well above freezing in Florida. "However, recent rainfall has largely bypassed the southern Atlantic region, maintaining heavy irrigation demands in Florida's winter agricultural belt," USDA adds.

In its outlook, USDA says very cold conditions will persist through week’s end across the Midwest and Northeast, but warmer weather will return to the deep South. "Farther west, the Plains will experience rapid temperature fluctuations, while generally mild weather will cover the West," USDA continues. Little or no precipitation can be expected for the remainder of the week across the nation’s mid-section, but a late-week storm will produce light rain in the Southeast and some freezing rain, sleet, and snow across the Midwest and Northeast, USDA reports. Elsewhere, USDA says precipitation will arrive at mid-week along the Pacific Coast, followed by some additional rain and snow showers in the Northwest. "Five-day precipitation totals could reach 1 to 2 inches in the Pacific Northwest and approach an inch in the central Appalachians," USDA explains.

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