USDA: Bitter Cold Stressing the Winter Wheat Crop

January 27, 2014 02:42 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, sub-zero temperatures have returned to the Dakotas, eastern Montana and parts of Nebraska. "The Plains’ winter wheat is largely devoid of snowcover, leaving the crop exposed to the latest cold wave," USDA details. Cold air is just starting to arrive across the southern Plains, accompanied by gusty northerly winds, according to USDA.

In the West, USDA reports unfavorable dryness persists, although a cold front is approaching the Pacific Northwest. "In addition to the dry conditions, unusual warmth prevails in California, Arizona and the Great Basin," USDA details.

In the Corn Belt, USDA reports sub-zero cold has returned to the upper Midwest, accompanied by gusty winds and dangerously low wind chill temperatures. "This morning’s temperatures fell below -20°F in parts of Minnesota and the eastern Dakotas, maintaining stress on winter-weary livestock," USDA explains.

In the South, USDA reports isolated rain showers dot the central and eastern Gulf Coast states in advance of a strong cold front. Meanwhile, sharply cold weather prevails across the Mid-South in the front’s wake, USDA explains.

In its outlook, USDA says for today, an Arctic cold front will cross the South and East. "In the front’s wake, a major winter weather event will unfold on Jan. 28-29 across the Deep South, featuring snow, sleet, and freezing rain from south-eastern Texas to the southern Mid-Atlantic coastal plain," USDA details. Snow can be expected as far south as the central Gulf Coast region, including northwestern Florida, USDA continues. Farther north, bitterly cold conditions will be short-lived on the central High Plains, where warmer-than-normal weather will return by Wednesday, according to USDA. "Cold weather will persist, however, across the upper Midwest, with a reinforcing surge of frigid air arriving on Thursday," USDA adds. Elsewhere, USDA says beneficial precipitation will overspread the northern half of the West, but unfavorable dryness will persist from southern California to the southern Plains.


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