USDA: Blizzard Warning Issued on the Plains

February 2, 2012 02:49 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, cloudiness is increasing in advance of a developing storm. "Temperatures remain above normal but will soon begin to fall on the central High Plains, where a blizzard warning has been issued—effective tonight through Saturday.

In the West, USDA says snow is developing across portions of the intermountain region in conjunction with a developing storm system. "Elsewhere in the West, dry, somewhat cooler weather prevails," USDA adds. The Sierra Nevada will need to receive an average of 22 inches of liquid during the next two months (about 2 ¾ inches per week) to achieve a "normal" snow pack by the end of the 2011-12 wet season, according to USDA.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says mild, dry weather prevails. "Today’s high temperatures will range from 40°F in the northern Corn Belt to near 60°F in the middle Mississippi Valley," USDA adds.

In the South, USDA says dry weather is returning to the drought-affected southern Atlantic region, following a brief period of light rain showers. "Across the remainder of the region, warm, dry weather is promoting off-season fieldwork and the growth of winter grains and cool-season pastures," USDA explains.

USDA's outlook says rain will end later today in the Mid-Atlantic States. "Meanwhile, a developing storm over the Intermountain West will drift eastward, reaching the mid-Mississippi Valley by Saturday," USDA reports. An impressive area of wind-driven snow will benefit winter wheat on the Central Plains but cause significant travel disruptions from the central Rockies into Iowa, according to USDA. "The heaviest snow, possibly in excess of a foot, can be expected from northeastern Colorado into south-central Nebraska," USDA says. Farther south, USDA explains strong thunderstorms will sweep across the Southern Plains later today and into the lower Mississippi Valley during the weekend. "Storm-total precipitation could reach 1 to 2 inches on the Central and Southern Plains, and 1 to 3 inches from the western Gulf Coast region into the lower Mississippi Valley," USDA adds. Elsewhere, USDA says little or no precipitation will fall into early next week.


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