USDA: Chances for Light to Moderate Rains on the Southern Plains

October 26, 2011 03:05 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, sharply colder weather prevails as far south as Oklahoma and northern Texas. "Meanwhile, an early-season snow storm is underway on the central High Plains, providing beneficial moisture for recently planted winter wheat," USDA reports. However, precipitation is still needed on the drought-ravaged southern Plains, where half of Texas' winter wheat was rated in very poor to poor condition on October 23, USDA explains.

In the West, heavy snow is falling in the central Rockies and parts of the Intermountain region, USDA says. "Elsewhere, cold, dry weather is slowing Northwestern winter wheat emergence and development, while cooler but dry weather favors fieldwork in California and the desert southwest," USDA adds.

In the Corn Belt, colder air is arriving in the wake of a cold front's passage, USDA says, although warmth lingers in the Ohio Valley. "Midwestern corn and soybean harvest activities remain mostly ahead of the normal pace, except in the eastern Corn Belt, where fieldwork has been delayed by late crop maturation and autumn wetness," USDA explains.

"In the South, warm, dry weather continues to promote winter wheat planting and harvesting of crops such as cotton, peanuts, and soybeans," USDA says.

According to USDA's outlook, a slow-moving cold front will trigger light to moderate rain from the southern Plains northeastward into the Ohio Valley and Northeast, while locally heavy snow moves southward across central and southern portions of the High Plains and Rockies. "Precipitation will dissipate as the front reaches the Southeast, although interests in southern Florida should monitor the progress of Hurricane Rina – currently located in the northwestern Caribbean – during the latter half of the week," USDA says. The coldest air of the season will settle over much of the Midwest and Northeast USDA reports, while dry, increasingly warm weather prevails from the Rockies to the Pacific Coast.


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