USDA: Gradual Cooling Expected for Plains & Midwest

September 4, 2012 03:14 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, recent rainfall associated with the remnants of Hurricane Isaac provided drought relief in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. "Soil moisture improvements are especially beneficial for pastures and in preparation for soft red winter wheat planting," USDA reports. Currently, a few tropical showers linger across the eastern Corn Belt, while showers and thunderstorms in the vicinity of a weak cold front stretch from Michigan to Missouri, according to USDA.

In the West, USDA says mostly dry weather accompanies late-summer warmth. "Isolated showers are confined to the Southwest," USDA reports. Fieldwork activities include late-season spring wheat harvesting in the Northwest, USDA adds.

On the Plains, cooler air is overspreading Montana, but hot, mostly dry conditions persist across the remainder of the region. "Today's high temperatures will exceed 100°F as far north as Kansas," USDA elaborates. Meanwhile, portions of the northern High Plains are experiencing a heightened risk of wildfire activity due to dry, windy conditions, USDA explains.

In the South, hurricane recovery efforts continue in the central Gulf Coast region, including southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi, according to USDA. "Currently, scattered thundershowers in parts of the Southeast are heaviest in Alabama and western Florida," USDA reports. Hot weather has returned to the Mid-South, including Arkansas, where today's high temperatures will reach or exceed 100°F in many locations, USDA explains.

In its outlook, USDA says a series of cold fronts will result in a gradual cooling trend across the Plains and Midwest. "In addition, the fronts will sweep away tropical moisture associated with the remnants of Hurricane Isaac, and result in scattered showers across the Plains and widespread rainfall from the Midwest into the East," USDA explains. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 1 to 3 inches, with locally higher amounts, from the middle Mississippi Valley into the Northeast, USDA reports. "Similar amounts can be expected in parts of the central and southern Appalachians, lower Southeast and Southwest," USDA says.


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