USDA: Mild Weather Continues to Stress Southern Plains Wheat

December 12, 2012 02:17 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, cold air is confined to areas along the Canadian border. "Elsewhere, the gradual return of mild weather is eroding the northern Plains' snow cover and maintaining significant stress on pastures, rangeland and winter wheat across the central and Southern Plains," USDA explains.

In the West, USDA says a few rain and snow showers are returning to northern California and the Northwest. Meanwhile, dry conditions persist in the Southwest, USDA adds, continuing, "In Arizona, 59% of the rangeland and pastures were rated in very poor to poor condition on Dec. 9."

In the Corn Belt, mild, dry weather favors off-season activities. "Snow remains on the ground across the northern tier of the region, particularly across the upper Midwest," USDA elabortes. Early today, the snow depth in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, was 8 inches, according to USDA.

In the South, USDA reports beneficial rain is falling in the southern Atlantic states. "On Dec. 9, topsoil moisture was rated more than half very short to short in several Southeastern states, including Florida (61% very short to short) and North Carolina (54%)," USDA elaborates.

In its outlook, USDA says rain will end by early Thursday across the lower Southeast, where totals may locally exceed an inch. Meanwhile, increasingly stormy weather will arrive in the West, USDA adds. "Some of the most significant precipitation (rain and snow) will fall in the Southwest, where some locations could receive 1 to 2 inches," USDA details. During the weekend, USDA reports a significant surge of moisture will reach northern California and the Pacific Northwest, boosting five-day precipitation totals as high as 2 to 4 inches. "Elsewhere, the Southwestern storminess will quickly spread eastward late in the week, resulting in widespread but generally light precipitation across the central and eastern U.S.," according to USDA. However, little or no precipitation will fall on the High Plains, USDA continues.

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