USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, very cold weather prevails, but winter wheat’s protective snow cover has markedly improved since January’s three Arctic outbreaks. "Current snow depths include 8 inches in Wichita, Kansas, and 4 inches in Omaha, Nebraska," USDA reports. However, winter wheat’s condition declined during January, with the portion of the wheat rated good to excellent falling from 70% to 60% in South Dakota; 65% to 46% in Nebraska; 60% to 46% in Montana; 63% to 36% in Oklahoma; 58% to 35% in Kansas; and 22% to 19% in Texas, USDA elaborates.
In the West, USDA reports below-normal temperatures accompany mostly dry conditions. "Very cold air (locally below 0°F) has settled across the interior Northwest, threatening some winter grains that do not have protective snow," USDA explains. In addition, a freeze warning is in effect early today in California’s San Joaquin Valley, although temperatures are not low enough to pose a threat to citrus, according to USDA.
In the Corn Belt, USDA says a major snow storm is starting to wind down across central and eastern portions of the region, but significant travel disruptions persist. "In Indiana, current snow depths include 11 inches in Ft. Wayne and 8 inches in Indianapolis; those locations had 2-inch depths yesterday morning," USDA details. Mostly dry but bitterly cold conditions cover the upper Midwest, maintaining stress on winter-weary livestock, USDA continues.
In the South, USDA reports pockets of lingering freezing rain are confined to northern and western Virginia and adjacent areas. "Meanwhile, scattered showers and thunderstorms are crossing the southern Atlantic states," USDA adds. Across the remainder of the South, cold, breezy weather trails yesterday’s rainfall, USDA continues.
In its outlook, USDA says cold weather will persist nearly nationwide into next week, particularly across the nation’s mid-section. "During the weekend, however, temperatures will rebound to above-normal levels in the Southwest," USDA reports. After today, USDA says the focus for significant precipitation will temporarily shift to the West. "In fact, parts of northern California could receive 4 to 8 inches of precipitation during the next five days," USDA continues. During the weekend, a new winter storm may affect portions of the Midwest and East, according to USDA.