USDA: Coldest Air of the Season Moves into the Midwest

October 21, 2013 03:47 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, a strong cold front stretches from Michigan to Missouri, preceded and accompanied by a few rain showers. "In the front’s wake, the coldest air of the season blankets the upper Midwest," USDA reports. However, season-ending freezes already occurred last week across the northwestern Corn Belt —as much as 1 to 3 weeks later than the normal first autumn freeze, USDA elaborates.

In the West, USDA reports cool conditions linger across the southern Rockies, but mild, dry weather covers the remainder of the region. "Warm, dry weather is especially beneficial for the growth of Northwestern winter grains, following an extended period of below-normal temperatures," USDA adds.

On the Plains, USDA says cool, mostly dry weather prevails, except for mild, breezy conditions in parts of Montana. "Portions of the southern High Plains have trended dry in recent weeks, favoring cotton maturation but reducing soil moisture for winter wheat emergence and establishment," USDA continues.

In the South, USDA reports scattered showers are mostly confined to areas along and near the Gulf Coast. "Elsewhere, mild, dry weather in advance of a cold front favors winter wheat planting and harvest activities for a variety of crops," USDA explains.

In its outlook, USDA says chilly weather will continue to dominate most areas east of the Rockies for the remainder of the week. "In fact, the growing season will end this week across much of the Midwest and Northeast, with multiple freezes expected in many locations," USDA reports. In contrast, late-season warmth—and dry weather—will cover the West, except for a few late-week showers in the southern Rockies, according to USDA. Significant precipitation will be confined to the Great Lakes region and areas along the Gulf Coast, where a few locations may receive an inch or more, USDA reports. "Some of the precipitation from the northern Plains into the Northeast will fall as snow, although accumulations will be mostly confined to areas in the vicinity of the Great Lakes," USDA continues.


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