USDA: Heavy Rain in the Midwest to Turn to Snow

January 29, 2013 02:24 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, snow is ending in northern portions of the region, but bitterly cold, breezy conditions are producing dangerous wind chills (locally as low as -30°F). "In contrast, showers and locally strong thunderstorms have developed along a cold front draping the Southern Plains, where temperatures have reached 70°F," USDA reports.

In the West, USDA says locally heavy rain is falling along the northern Pacific Coast, but cool, dry weather continues to dominate California. "Winter weather advisories remain in effect throughout much of the Intermountain West," USDA adds.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says showers and thunderstorms are traversing western and northern sections of the Midwest. "Heavy rain (local accumulations in excess of 2 inches) will be concentrated today over Missouri and Illinois," USDA reports.

In the South, USDA says severe weather is expected today in the vicinity of the lower Mississippi Valley ahead of an advancing cold front. "Drier, albeit cloudy weather is expected for much of the day in the Southeast, with rain moving in from the west by this evening," USDA explains.

In its outlook, USDA says over the next few days, the strong cold front moving through the East will generate heavy precipitation (total accumulations greater than 2 inches in many locations) from the Mississippi Valley to the Atlantic Coast, although significant rain will miss most of Florida. "The precipitation will end as snow in the Midwest as colder Canadian air is drawn southward as the front pushes eastward," USDA explains. In fact, USDA continues bitter cold air (morning lows well below 0°C) will linger for much of the week in the upper Midwest before temperatures moderate. Meanwhile, cool, mostly dry weather will prevail for the remainder of the week on the Central and Southern Plains, with little to no precipitation expected in the hard red winter wheat belt, according to USDA. "Snow showers will gradually diminish over the Intermountain West as high pressure becomes entrenched over the West," USDA continues.

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