USDA: Blizzard Warning in Effect for Northern Plains

January 16, 2014 02:39 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, a blizzard warning is in effect in the eastern Dakotas due to sharply reduced visibilities in blowing and drifting snow. "Very windy weather prevails from eastern Montana and the Dakotas southward into Nebraska," USDA elaborates. Meanwhile, mild weather covers the southern half of the Plains, where dry conditions persist, USDA continues.

In the West, USDA says unusual warmth persists, along with unfavorable dryness. "The current water content of the high-elevation Sierra Nevada snow pack stands at 2 inches, just 15% of the mid-January normal," USDA details.

In the Corn Belt, USDA reports a blizzard warning is in effect across much of western Minnesota due to light but wind-driven snow. "Meanwhile, snow is also falling in several other parts of the Midwest, with the most significant amounts occurring in parts of Indiana and southern Illinois," USDA explains. Current snow depths, largely due to previously fallen snow, stand at 11 inches in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, and 5 inches in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, according to USDA.

In the South, USDA says light precipitation (rain and snow showers) is limited to the southern Mid-Atlantic coastal plain. "Cool, dry conditions across the remainder of the Southeast contrasts with mild weather from the Mississippi Delta westward," USDA continues.

In its outlook, USDA says during the next five days, a series of three disturbances—or "clipper" systems—will traverse the Canadian Prairies before arcing across the Midwest and Northeast. "The "clippers" will maintain cool, breezy conditions, along with occasional snow showers, from the Dakotas and Great Lakes States into the Northeast," USDA reports. The remainder of the country will receive little or no precipitation, while temperatures will remain unusually high for mid-winter from the Pacific Coast to the High Plains, USDA explains. During the weekend, warmth will become more expansive across the nation’s mid-section, with temperatures climbing to 70°F or higher on the Southern Plains, USDA continues.


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