USDA: Late-week Snow, Sleet and Freezing Rain for the Midwest

February 6, 2013 02:26 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, cold weather is limited to northern and eastern North Dakota. "Elsewhere, mild, dry weather continues to leave most of the hard red winter wheat crop exposed to potential weather extremes," USDA reports. In addition, rangeland and pastures are suffering from the effects of drought, USDA adds. "By the end of January, for example, more than four-fifths of the rangeland and pastures were rated very poor to poor in Kansas (85%) and Oklahoma (82%)," according to USDA.

In the West, USDA says showery weather prevails from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies. "Meanwhile, mild, dry conditions in California and the Southwest favor fieldwork," USDA adds. In Arizona, recent precipitation has left rangeland and pastures rated 41% very poor to poor, an improvement from 74% just two weeks ago, according to USDA.

In the Corn Belt, USDA reports cold weather in the Great Lakes states contrasts with mild conditions south and west of the Missouri River. "During the last two weeks, livestock stress has increased across the upper Midwest due to persistently cold conditions and occasional wintry precipitation," USDA explains.

In the South, USDA says developing rain across southern Texas is providing some relief from recent warm, dry conditions. "Warm, mostly dry weather covers the remainder of the region," USDA continues. Citrus irrigation demands remain heavy in Florida, where topsoil moisture was rated 62% very short to short on Feb. 3, USDA explains.

In its outlook, USDA says for today, rain will continue across southern Texas and spread eastward. During the next three days, storm-total rainfall could reach 2 to 4 inches across the South, with some of the heaviest amounts expected in the central Gulf Coast states, according to USDA. "However, only light showers will dampen Florida’s peninsula," USDA adds. Farther north, some late-week snow, sleet, and freezing rain will affect the Midwest and Northeast, USDA reports. "Meanwhile, precipitation in the Northwest will spread southward and farther inland, reaching California and the Intermountain West by week’s end," USDA says. During the weekend, precipitation associated with a developing storm will affect the nation’s mid-section, trailed by colder weather across the western and central U.S., according to USDA.

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