USDA: Cold Weather Returning to the Plains

February 24, 2014 02:56 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, cold weather is returning to most areas, although warmth lingers for a final day on the High Plains from eastern Colorado southward. "Dry weather prevails, aside from some light snow on the northern Plains and a few rain showers in central and southern Texas," USDA details.

In the West, USDA reports rain and snow showers are confined to the northern tier of the region, accompanied by a return to cold weather. "In contrast, unusually warm, unfavorably dry conditions persist in California, the Great Basin, and the Southwest," USDA continues. Statewide reservoir storage is barely one-quarter of normal for this time of year in Nevada, just over half of normal in New Mexico, and less than two-thirds of normal in California and Oregon, according to USDA.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says bitterly cold weather is returning to the upper Midwest, where this morning’s low temperatures dipped below 0°F. "Breezy conditions accompany the cold weather," Substantial snowcover is confined to the northern Corn Belt, where current depths include 20 inches in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, and 17 inches in Grand Rapids, Michigan, according to USDA.

In the South, USDA says cool weather is returning to northern and western portions of the region. However, warmth lingers across the lower Southeast, USDA adds. Rain has ended in the central Gulf Coast region, but a few showers are affecting Florida’s peninsula and southern Texas, USDA reports.

In its outlook, USDA says for the remainder of the week, a late-season cold outbreak will dominate the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. In contrast, warmth will persist for several more days from California into the Southwest, USDA continues. "During the mid- to late-week period, much-needed precipitation will overspread California and other parts of the West," USDA reports. Five-day totals could reach 2 to 5 inches in California, USDA adds. "Little, if any, precipitation will fall, however, across the southern High Plains and the Southwest," USDA reports. Farther east, rainfall could reach 1 to 2 inches in the Gulf Coast states, while periods of light snow will affect areas from the northern Plains into the Northeast, according to USDA.


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