USDA: Extreme Dryness Persists in the Northwest Half of the Plains

October 16, 2012 04:01 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, unusually warm weather continues to promote winter wheat development across southern areas. "However, extremely dry conditions persist across the northwestern half of the Plains," USDA adds. "On Oct. 14, winter wheat emergence was at least 20 percentage points behind the five-year average in Colorado (51% emerged versus the average of 72%), Montana (25% vs. 53%), Nebraska (47% vs. 77%), and South Dakota (11% vs. 67%)," according to USDA.

In the West, USDA says a warm weather pattern continues. "However, slightly cooler air is overspreading the Northwest, accompanied by highly beneficial showers," USDA explains. Due to dry conditions, winter wheat emergence slightly lags the normal pace in Idaho, Oregon and Washington, USDA reports.

In the Corn Belt, cool conditions linger across the lower Great Lakes region, but warm air is spreading across the remainder of the Midwest, according to USDA. "Isolated showers are spreading across the upper Midwest," it adds. "The U.S. corn harvest, 79% complete on Oct. 14, is advancing at a record-setting pace, in spite of recent rainfall," USDA continues.

In the South, USDA says mild, dry weather favors fieldwork, including winter wheat planting and harvest activities for cotton, soybeans, and peanuts.

In its outlook, USDA says a storm system moving into southwestern Canada will drift eastward, reaching the Great Lakes region and intensifying after mid-week. "The storm will stall over the Midwest before finally lifting into eastern Canada during the weekend," USDA reports. Widespread showers and thunderstorms along the storm’s trailing cold front will be heaviest — with rainfall totals up to 1 to 2 inches — from the Mississippi Valley into the Northeast, according to USDA. "In contrast, dry weather will prevail through week’s end from California to the central and southern Plains," USDA reports. Elsewhere, USDA says late-week precipitation will become heavier across the Northwest.


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