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USDA: High Temps in the Southern Plains, Frigid Temps in the North

08:22AM Jan 20, 2012

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, warm, windy weather covers southern areas, including Texas, where today's high temperatures will exceed 80°F in some locations. "In stark contrast, frigid conditions persist in Montana, the Dakotas, and northern and eastern Nebraska, although the coverage and depth of winter wheat's protective snow cover has improved across the northern Plains in recent days," USDA remarks.

In the West, USDA says mostly dry weather prevails during a lull between storms, although isolated rain and snow showers linger across the northern half of the region. "Mild weather covers much of the West, although cold air remains entrenched across Washington," USDA reports.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says snow is blanketing the upper Midwest, causing travel disruptions. "Some of the heaviest snow is falling in northern Iowa and southern Minnesota, where temperatures hover near 0°F," USDA adds.

In the South, temperatures have climbed to well-above-normal levels, while a few showers are developing east of the Mississippi River, USDA reports. "Some of the heaviest rain is falling across southern Alabama and western Florida," USDA says.

USDA's outlook says stormy weather will return to roughly the northern two-thirds of the western U.S. later today, and persist into next week. "During the next five days, additional precipitation totals could reach 5 to 10 inches in the Pacific Northwest, 2 to 5 inches in the Sierra Nevada, and 1 to 3 inches in the northern Rockies," USDA explains. In contrast, little or no precipitation will fall during the next five days across the Plains, Southwest and Florida’s peninsula, according to USDA. "Across the eastern one-third of the nation, a pair of storms could result in as much as 1 to 2 inches of moisture, with widespread frozen precipitation expected from the Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic States into the Northeast," USDA says. By early next week, mild weather will prevail across the central and eastern U.S., while colder conditions will engulf the West, according to USDA.