USDA: Dry, Mild Conditions in Central and Northern Plains, Corn Belt

December 23, 2011 02:31 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, slightly cooler air is overspreading eastern portions of the region, where final corn harvest efforts remain largely on hold. "In contrast, mild, dry conditions persist in the upper Midwest, where many communities are experiencing a rare holiday season without any snow on the ground," USDA reports.

In the West, freeze warnings are in effect this morning for much of California's Central Valley (and neighboring valleys), where some producers are employing protective measures to guard against injury to citrus and other temperature-sensitive crops, USDA says. "Elsewhere, snow continues to fall in the southern Rockies, while very cold air covers the Southwest," USDA reports.

On the Plains, dry weather prevails, according to USDA. "Mild air is overspreading the northern Plains, but chilly conditions linger across the southern Plains," USDA reports. Wheat continues to overwinter with few major concerns, although emerging dryness could become a problem on the northern Plains, while lingering drought is an issue on the southern Plains, USDA says.

In the South, a weakening band of showers is crossing the southern Atlantic region, USDA says. "Southeastern row crop harvest activities are largely complete, but some pastures and winter grains are in need of additional rain," USDA explains.

USDA's outlook calls for generally dry, increasingly mild conditions to prevail across the central and northern Plains and Corn Belt. "Meanwhile, a slow-moving storm system will generate periods of rain and snow from New Mexico into Texas, with rain gradually spreading into the Delta and Southeast during the latter half of the weekend," USDA explains. Farther north, a pair of upper-air disturbances will trigger snow showers in the Great Lakes and Northeast, while rain and high-elevation snow linger in the Pacific Northwest, according to USDA. "Dry, warmer weather will return to California and the Southwest," USDA adds.


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