USDA: Chilly Rain Halts Fieldwork in Upper Midwest

09:00AM Apr 24, 2014
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USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, a chilly rain is halting fieldwork across the upper Midwest. In contrast, mild, dry weather favors corn planting and other spring fieldwork in the Ohio Valley, USDA continues. "On April 20, corn planting was at least 10 percentage points behind the five-year average pace in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois," USDA elaborates.

In the West, USDA says wet weather is returning to areas from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies. "Elsewhere, dry weather favors fieldwork and crop development," USDA reports. "Cotton planting is nearly complete in California —90% planted on April 20, compared to the 5-year average of 45%," USDA details.

On the Plains, USDA reports showers and thunderstorms are primarily affecting eastern sections of the region. "Overnight thunderstorms produced some large hail and high winds, mainly from north-central Texas into south-central Nebraska," USDA elaborates. However, significant rainfall continues to bypass the drought-stricken southern High Plains, according to USDA.

In the South, USDA says mild, dry weather continues to promote planting activities and other spring fieldwork, except in areas where soggy conditions persist. "During the last two weeks, some of the heaviest rain has fallen across the lower Southeast, including northern Florida and southern sections of Alabama and Georgia," USDA elaborates.

In its outlook, USDA says a low-pressure system centered over the southeastern Plains will reach the Northeast by Saturday. "Meanwhile, a storm system affecting the Northwest will arrive in the nation’s mid-section during the weekend," USDA details. The second system has the potential to produce a significant severe weather outbreak from April 26-28, starting on the central and southern Great Plains and eventually reaching the middle and lower Mississippi Valley, USDA elaborates. "Five-day rainfall totals could reach 2 to 5 inches in the middle and lower Mississippi Valley and neighboring regions," the agency adds. Amounts could reach 1 to 2 inches across the northern Plains and Intermountain West, USDA continues. Cold weather will trail the second storm across the northern and western U.S., according to USDA.