USDA: Drought-Easing Rains Are Falling in Western Corn Belt

April 19, 2012 03:18 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, showers continue to benefit Montana's winter wheat and have spread southward into Nebraska, Kansas and northeastern Colorado. "Dry, warmer-than-normal weather prevails across the southern Plains," USDA adds.

In the West, cool, wet weather continues across northern portions of the region, slowing winter wheat development but further improving soil moisture and spring runoff prospects, according to USDA. "In contrast, increasing warmth and dryness across the Southwest are maintaining drought concerns, particularly in the Four Corners region," USDA reports.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says showers are improving soil moisture and easing drought in western crop areas, while dry, warm weather in the Ohio Valley is promoting fieldwork and early summer crop establishment.

In the South, USDA explains generally dry weather has returned to the region after yesterday's light albeit beneficial showers. "However, locally severe drought continues to adversely impact winter grains, pastures and summer crops across portions of the Southeast," USDA adds.

USDA's outlook says an area of low pressure currently over the central Plains will move northeast, producing a swath of light to moderate rainfall across the central and northern Corn Belt. "A trailing cold front will produce showers and thunderstorms from the southeastern Plains to the Atlantic Coast, although the probability for heavy, drought-easing rain with this system is diminishing," USDA reports. Meanwhile, USDA says unsettled weather in the Northwest will gradually subside, while dry, increasingly hot weather expands across the most of the western U.S. "Western heat will begin working into the Great Plains over the weekend, with summer-like readings likely by early next week from Montana to northern Texas," USDA explains.


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