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USDA: Freezes Possible in the Corn Belt and Central Plains Next Week

08:32AM Apr 25, 2014

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, rain is falling across large sections of Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. "Dry weather has returned from the Mississippi Valley westward, allowing for a limited resumption of fieldwork," USDA reports. However, soils remain too cool for appreciable corn planting in the upper Midwest, according to USDA.

In the West, USDA says a late-season storm is producing precipitation as far south as central California. "Although California’s rain (and high-elevation snow) will not appreciably improve water-supply prospects, the moisture will temporarily ease irrigation requirements and benefit drought-stressed rangeland and pastures," USDA explains.

On the Plains, USDA reports warm, dry weather prevails between storms. "Today’s high temperatures will approach or reach 90°F on the southern High Plains, where rangeland, pastures and winter grains continue to suffer from the effects of a drought that began more than 3½ years ago," USDA elaborates. On April 20, statewide topsoil moisture was rated 76% very short to short in Texas, along with 75% in Oklahoma and 72% in Kansas, USDA details.

In the South, USDA says warm weather favors fieldwork, except in areas—mainly across the lower Southeast —where surplus soil moisture remains a problem. "Showers and a few thunderstorms are confined to the interior Southeast, primarily across Kentucky and Tennessee," USDA adds.

In its outlook, USDA says for the remainder of today, rain will spread into the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States, while a storm will push farther inland in the West. "The Western storm will set the stage for a multi-day severe weather outbreak," USDA explains. Severe thunderstorms and isolated tornadoes are a possibility from April 26-29 across a broad area stretching from the central and southern Plains into parts of the Midwest, Mid-South, and Southeast, according to USDA. "In addition, storm-total rainfall could reach 2 to 4 inches or more in a large area covering much of the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio Valleys," USDA elaborates. In the storm’s wake, unusually cold air may result in multiple freezes in the northern Corn Belt and across the nation’s mid-section as far south as the central High Plains, USDA continues.