USDA: High-Impact Storm to Impact the Nation

February 28, 2014 02:57 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, bitterly cold conditions in Montana and the Dakotas contrast with warm, windy weather in Texas. "Wheat and pasture conditions continue to deteriorate on the southern High Plains," USDA reports. Near the boundary between cold and warm air, some rain is falling in Oklahoma and southern Kansas. Farther north, snow is blanketing portions of Montana and Wyoming, according to USDA.

In the West, USDA reports the second of two storms is beginning to affect California. "The heaviest precipitation is moving ashore in central and southern California, providing much-needed moisture for fields and orchards but causing local flash flooding—especially in areas that have recently experienced wildfires," USDA details.

In the Corn Belt, USDA reports extremely cold conditions persist—especially across the northern half of the region. "This morning’s temperatures dipped below 0°F as far south as northern sections of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio," USDA details. Readings below -20°F were noted in the upper Great Lakes region, USDA continues.

In the South, USDA says cool, mostly dry weather prevails, with freezes noted early today as far south as northern Florida.

In its outlook, USDA says a storm centered over the eastern Pacific Ocean will drift eastward before crossing southern California on Saturday. "After affecting the Southwest, the storm will emerge over the central and southern Plains on Sunday and move into the southern Mid-Atlantic region by Monday," USDA explains. From coast to coast, this will be a high-impact storm, with possible flash flooding (locally 3 to 6 inches of rain) today in southern California; heavy, late-week precipitation (1 to 3 inches) in the Southwest; widespread weekend snow from the central Plains into the northern Mid- Atlantic states; significant ice accumulations on March 2-3 from the Mid-South into the Mid-Atlantic region; and potentially strong thunderstorms on March 2-3 across the Deep South, according to USDA. "Another surge of bitterly cold air will trail the storm into the Plains, Midwest and Northeast," USDA continues. During the first half of next week, temperatures can be expected to fall to 0°F or below as far south as the central Plains and the Ohio Valley, USDA explains.


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