USDA: Gradual Warming Trend Across the Corn Belt

May 7, 2013 03:38 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, mostly dry weather accompanies a gradual warming trend, although cloudiness lingers across the Ohio Valley. "Today’s high temperatures will approach 80°F as far north as the upper Mississippi Valley," USDA reports. "U.S. corn planting, just 12% complete by May 5, has been proceeding at the slowest pace since 1984, when just 9% of the corn had been planted on that date," USDA elaborates.

In the West, USDA says widely scattered showers stretch from California to the Intermountain region. "Cool conditions from California into the Southwest contrast with record-setting warmth in the Northwest," USDA reports. On Monday, high temperatures soared to 90°F as far north as Yakima, Washington, USDA details.

On the Plains, USDA says rain showers are spreading across central areas, including parts of Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma. "However, rain is largely bypassing Texas, where the portion of the winter wheat crop rated very poor to poor climbed to 74% by May 5—up from 49% on March 31," USDA explains. Warmth continues to expand across the northern Plains, promoting an acceleration of spring wheat planting and other fieldwork, it continues.

In the South, USDA says rain is gradually ending across the Carolinas and the Tennessee Valley, but heavy showers are affecting parts of Virginia and neighboring areas. "Across the remainder of the South, cool weather in the wake of recent rainfall continues to limit planting activities in some areas," USDA reports.

In its outlook, USDA says a pair of slow-moving storms will influence the nation’s weather during the next several days. "One system, drifting slowly northward across the eastern U.S., could produce additional rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches in the Mid-Atlantic states," USDA explains. The other system, evolving over the Southwest, will move into the South and East by week’s end, USDA continues. Precipitation totals associated with the second storm could reach 1 to 2 inches from the Central Plains into the southern Corn Belt, and 1 to 3 inches in the western Gulf Coast states, according to USDA. "Meanwhile, warmth will continue in the Northwest, but cooler weather will return during the second half of the week across the Plains and Midwest," USDA reports.

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