USDA: Freezes to Affect Portions of the Midwest, Northeast this Week

April 9, 2012 03:13 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, cool air is surging across the upper Midwest, where this morning's temperatures dipped below 32°F. "Mild weather prevails across the remainder of the region, while isolated showers are confined to parts of Indiana and Ohio," USDA reports.

In the West, USDA says a few showers are returning to the northern Pacific Coast. Elsewhere, warm, dry weather is promoting fieldwork and crop development, following an extended period of cool conditions.

On the Plains, USDA explains cold air is settled across Montana and the Dakotas, where this morning's temperatures locally fell below 20°F. "Meanwhile on the central and southern Plains, mild, dry weather favors planting preparations and early-season seeding operations," according to USDA.

In the South, USDA says warm, dry weather is promoting fieldwork and crop growth. "However, drought is adversely affecting some pastures, winter grains and emerging summer crops across the lower Southeast," USDA reports. Other drought-related impacts include heavy irrigation demands and an increased risk of wildfires, USDA adds.

In its outlook, USDA says during the early- to mid-week period, freezes will affect portions of the Midwest and Northeast. "The cold weather could threaten early-blooming fruits and other freeze-sensitive crops," USDA explains. Gusty winds and occasional showers will accompany the chilly conditions, USDA reports. Meanwhile, USDA says warmth will gradually expand from the West to the High Plains. "Late in the week, warm weather will overspread the eastern half of the U.S., while cool conditions will return to the West—accompanied by rain and snow showers," according to USDA.


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