USDA: Cold Surge to Hit the Nation's Mid-Section & the Northwest

February 23, 2012 02:16 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, a band of precipitation stretches from the Dakotas into Illinois. "Wet snow is blanketing parts of the upper Midwest, while light rain is falling in the middle Mississippi Valley," USDA reports.

In the West, USDA says unfavorably dry weather persists in most areas, especially from California into the Great Basin. "A few snow showers linger across the northern and central Rockies, while colder air is arriving in the Northwest," USDA explains.

On the Plains, USDA reports snow is falling in parts of Montana and the Dakotas. "Meanwhile, warm, windy conditions cover the Southern Plains, where there is an enhanced risk of wildfire activity," according to USDA. "In addition, high winds are causing some blowing dust and visibility reductions on the southern High Plains," USDA adds.

In the South, very warm, dry weather favors early-spring fieldwork and the growth of pastures and winter grains, according to USDA. However, USDA says drought remains a concern in the southern Atlantic region, maintaining heavy irrigation demands in Florida's citrus belt. In addition, more than half (52%) of Florida's pastures were rated in very poor to poor condition on Feb. 19, according to USDA.

USDA's outlook says for the remainder of today, cold air will surge into the nation’s mid-section and the Northwest. "During the weekend, colder air will settle across the Midwest, South and East," USDA adds. Early next week, a new push of cold air will arrive across the northern Plains and upper Midwest, where some sub-zero temperatures can be expected on Feb. 27-28, according to USDA. "During the next five days, a series of storms will continue to produce generally light precipitation across the North and East," USDA explains. Widespread snow will fall from the Cascades to the northern Rockies, USDA adds. "Late-week snow can also be expected from parts of the northern Corn Belt into New England. Meanwhile, generally dry weather will prevail from central and southern California to the Southern Plains," USDA reports.


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