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USDA: Late-Season Heat to Return to the Plains & Midwest This Weekend

08:22AM Sep 06, 2012

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, a cold front is crossing Montana and North Dakota, accompanied by a few showers. "Unfavorably hot, dry weather persists across the remainder of the nation's mid-section," USDA adds. On Sept. 2, rangeland and pastures rated very poor to poor ranged from 47% in North Dakota to 96% in Nebraska, according to USDA.

In the West, warm, mostly dry weather prevails, except for cool conditions along the Pacific Coast, USDA reports. "Northwestern small grain planting is underway, with 13% of the winter wheat seeded in Washington by Sept. 2," USDA explains.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says mostly dry weather accompanies late-season warmth. Summer crops continue to mature at a rapid pace, but pastures are in need of additional rain, USDA explains. "On Sept. 2, more than 40% of the pastures were rated very poor to poor in every Midwestern state, with a range from 42% in Minnesota to 99% in Missouri," USDA elaborates.

In the South, USDA says hurricane recovery efforts continue in the central Gulf Coast region under hot conditions. "Hot weather also persists in the Mid-South, including Arkansas, where today's high temperatures will again approach, reach, or exceed 100°F," USDA reports. Elsewhere, scattered Southeastern showers are maintaining favorable pasture conditions; at least half of the pastures are rated good to excellent in every Gulf and Atlantic Coast State from Louisiana to Maryland, according to USDA.

USDA's outlook says a fast-moving cold front arriving across the northern Plains and upper Midwest will race southeastward, reaching the Atlantic Seaboard during the weekend. "Showers and thunderstorms will precede and accompany the front, totaling as much as 1 to 2 inches from the central and southern Plains into the Ohio Valley and Northeast," USDA elaborates. Locally heavy showers will also dot the southern Atlantic region and the Four Corners states, USDA continues. Cool air in the front’s wake will result in a brief period of below-normal temperatures, USDA adds. "During the weekend and early next week, however, late-season heat will return to the Plains and Midwest," USDA reports.