USDA: Bitterly Cold Temps for Midwest to Arrive Sunday

January 16, 2013 02:21 AM
 

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, precipitation (rain and freezing rain) is gradually ending in the middle Ohio Valley. However, some lowland flooding persists, mainly in the lower Ohio Valley, USDA adds. "Mild weather has temporarily returned to the Midwest, but Arctic air is lurking nearby, across central Canada," USDA reports.

In the West, USDA says freeze warnings are in effect again across parts of the San Joaquin Valley, as well as the Desert Southwest, although the most significant portion of the cold wave has already occurred. "In addition, the current cold snap has been less severe than a similarly timed outbreak in mid-January 2007," USDA elaborates. Elsewhere in the West, chilly, dry conditions prevail, USDA continues.

On the Plains, USDA says mild weather is returning. Mid-winter warmth is especially notable on the northern High Plains, where winter wheat's protective snow cover is again eroding under a dry, windy regime, according to USDA.

In the South, USDA reports a sharp temperature gradient exists, with very warm weather in the southern Atlantic states contrasting with cool conditions west of the Appalachians. "Pockets of freezing rain persist in the Mississippi Delta and environs, while a chilly rain is falling from the central Gulf Coast into the southern Mid-Atlantic states," USDA explains. Persistent rainfall in recent days has led to pockets of lowland flooding from the central Gulf Coast region into the southern Appalachians, according to USDA. "In stark contrast, heavy irrigation demands continue in Florida, where topsoil moisture was rated 46% very short to short on Jan. 13," USDA elaborates.

In its outlook, USDA says a sustained period of wet weather across parts of the South will end by Friday, following an additional 1 to 3 inches of rain in some locations. "However, little or no rain will fall across Florida’s peninsula," USDA adds. Meanwhile, bitterly cold air will arrive on Jan. 20-21 in the Midwest and Northeast, USDA reports. In contrast, temperatures will gradually moderate to near- or above-normal levels in the West, while unusual warmth will expand across the High Plains by early next week, according to USDA. "Most of the U.S. will experience dry weather during the next several days, although some snow will fall from the northern Plains to New England," USDA adds.

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