USDA: Cold Weather Threatens Central Plains Wheat

January 14, 2013 02:24 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, cold weather is posing a threat to already drought-stressed wheat across central areas. "For the third day in a row, temperatures fell to near 0°F or below as far south as northeastern Colorado and northwestern Kansas, where snow cover is patchy or non-existent," USDA elaborates. Elsewhere, snow is helping to protect the northern Plains' wheat, while temperatures have remained mostly above 10°F on the southern Plains, according to USDA.

In the West, USDA says cold, dry weather prevails, except for some snow showers across the interior Northwest. "Freeze warnings are in effect again this morning, as they were during the weekend, from California's Central Valley into the Southwest," USDA reports. Citrus and winter vegetable producers throughout the West continue to monitor and guard against freeze injury from temperatures that have fallen into the 25°F to 30°F range, with locally lower readings, according to USDA.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says cold, dry weather prevails, except for some snow showers downwind of the Great Lakes. "The cold weather (today's temperatures fell below 0°F in the far upper Midwest) is increasing livestock stress," USDA continues.

In the South, USDA says warmth lingers in the Atlantic Coast states, but sharply colder air is overspreading the remainder of the region. "A band of rain stretches from southeastern Texas to the Virginia, but precipitation is changing to snow, sleet, and freezing rain in parts of eastern Texas," USDA continues.

In its outlook USDA says a series of disturbances will interact with a slow-moving cold front draped across the Southeast. "As a result, additional, early- to mid-week precipitation could reach 1 to 4 inches from the central Gulf Coast into the southern Mid-Atlantic region," USDA reports. The northwestern edge of the precipitation shield will be in the form of snow, sleet, or freezing rain, primarily affecting areas from eastern Texas into the northern Mid-Atlantic states, USDA elaborates. "Much of the remainder of the country will experience dry weather through week’s end, except for some snow across the nation’s northern tier," USDA adds. Temperatures across the western and central U.S. will rebound, with above-normal readings expected by mid-week in northern California and the northern and central Plains, according to USDA.


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