USDA: Hurricane Isaac to Bring Rain to the Lower Midwest

August 28, 2012 03:17 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, mostly dry weather accompanies a late-season warm spell. "Scattered showers are confined to the upper Midwest," USDA adds. On Aug. 25, Missouri led the nation with 99% of its pastureland rated in very poor to poor condition, followed by Nebraska with 95%, USDA reports.

In the West, USDA says cool weather is confined to areas along the Pacific Coast. "Elsewhere, hot, mostly dry weather is promoting crop maturation and fieldwork, including Northwestern small grain harvesting," according to USDA. During the week ending Aug. 26, the spring wheat harvest passed the halfway mark in Idaho (66% complete) and Washington (63%), USDA elaborates.

On the Plains, USDA says showers are confined to parts of the eastern Dakotas. "Elsewhere, hot, dry weather favors summer crop maturation and fieldwork, but is maintaining or increasing stress on rangeland and pastures," USDA reports. For the second consecutive day, high temperatures will reach or exceed 100°F as far north as South Dakota, according to USDA.

In the South, USDA explains Tropical Storm Isaac is bearing down on the central Gulf Coast, while locally heavy showers are affecting the southern Atlantic region. "At 8 a.m. EDT, Isaac was centered 105 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, moving toward the northwest at 7 mph," USDA reports, adding, "Sustained winds are near 70 mph."

In its outlook, USDA says Isaac should continue to strengthen and is expected to be a hurricane at landfall on the central Gulf Coast late Tuesday. "Hurricane warnings are in effect along the Gulf Coast from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Alabama- Florida border, including New Orleans," USDA reports. In addition, Isaac should be a prolific rain-maker in the lower and middle Mississippi Valley and across the lower Midwest, according to USDA. "Along and near the storm’s path, rainfall could reach 7 to 14 inches, with isolated amounts near 20 inches," USDA elaborates. Little or no rain will occur through week’s end across the remainder of the U.S., while a late-season heat wave will expand from northern portions of the Rockies and Plains into the Midwest and Northeast, USDA says.


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