USDA: Cold Temps Returning to Winter Wheat Country

January 30, 2014 02:41 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, bitterly cold weather is returning to northern portions of the region in the wake of a cold front’s passage. "Parts of Montana received some snow in advance of the cold outbreak, but winter wheat across the remainder of the Plains lacks a protective snowcover," USDA details.

In the West, USDA reports much-needed precipitation is falling in parts of northern and central California, although the rain and snow showers are barely denting long-term moisture deficits. "Nevertheless, the precipitation will benefit pastures and winter grains, if only temporarily," USDA continues. Scattered showers are also occurring in other areas, including the Pacific Northwest, northern Rockies and the Intermountain West, according to USDA.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says light precipitation—mostly snow—associated with a cold front is occurring across the upper Midwest. "Cold, windy conditions are returning in the front’s wake, maintaining stress on upper Midwestern livestock," USDA reports. Snow covers the northern and eastern Corn Belt, but winter wheat is exposed to potential weather extremes in the middle Mississippi Valley, USDA explains.

In the South, USDA says recovery efforts continue in areas hardest hit by early-week snow and ice. "Currently, a chilly rain lingers across Florida’s peninsula, while very cold conditions persist from the lower Mississippi Valley into the Southeast," USDA continues.

In its outlook, USDA says a change in the North American weather pattern will result in a westward shift in the coldest conditions and a general increase in storminess during the next few days. "Only the upper Midwest and the Desert Southwest will remain dry," USDA elaborates. Precipitation will be heaviest, with at least 1 to 2 inches expected, across Florida’s peninsula; from the Mid-South into the lower Midwest; and in high-elevation areas from the Cascades and Sierra Nevada to the Rockies, according to USDA. "Colder air will overspread the West, while the South and East will experience markedly warmer weather into the weekend," USDA continues. Early next week, however, colder weather will return to the South and East, excluding Florida, USDA reports.


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