USDA: Blizzard Is Underway in Parts of Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska

February 3, 2012 02:16 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, a blizzard is underway across parts of eastern Colorado, northwestern Kansas and southern Nebraska. "The storm is severely stressing livestock and disrupting travel, but providing much-needed moisture and insulation for winter wheat," USDA explains. Meanwhile, USDA says showers and thunderstorms are developing on the Southern Plains, but largely bypassing some of the most severely drought-affected areas in the High Plains region.

In the West, USDA says beneficial precipitation is boosting mountain snowpacks in the central and southern Rockies. "Cold, dry weather covers the remainder of the West, except for near-normal temperatures in the Pacific Coast states," USDA says.

In the Corn Belt, the "year without a winter" continues under a mild, dry weather regime, according to USDA. "Today's high temperatures will approach 60°F in the lower Ohio Valley," it adds.

In the South, locally heavy showers are developing in the western and central Gulf Coast States, well in advance of a storm system over the nation's mid-section, USDA reports, continuing "Warm, unfavorably dry conditions persist, however, in the southern Atlantic region."

USDA's outlook says a developing storm over the south-central Plains will produce a wide variety of weather from the central Rockies to the central Atlantic Coast. "Heavy snow and strong winds will create blizzard conditions over central portions of the Rockies and Plains, benefiting winter wheat but causing travel disruptions and livestock stress," USDA explains. Snow will spread over the Corn Belt into the central Mid-Atlantic, with a wintry mix likely in southern portions of these areas, according to USDA. Farther south, USDA says heavy showers and thunderstorms – some severe – will develop along a trailing cold front, providing drought relief from eastern Texas and the Delta into interior portions of the Southeast. "However, rain will be much lighter over the eastern Gulf Coast states, including Florida, where drought continues to intensify," USDA reports. Out west, dry weather will expand over the entire region, increasing concerns over unfavorably low snowpacks from the Sierra Nevada into the Great Basin, USDA says.


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