USDA: Milder Weather to Return to Northern Plains, Upper Midwest

December 9, 2011 02:18 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, mild air is overspreading Montana, but chilly conditions persist elsewhere. "Winter grains are easing into dormancy and in some areas remain covered by snow," USDA adds.

In the West, USDA says temperatures are returning to near-normal levels, following the recent cold snap. "Dry weather is promoting late-autumn fieldwork in California and the Southwest," USDA explains.

In the Corn Belt, USDA reports snow showers are mostly confined to the Great Lakes region. "Cold, dry weather covers the remainder of the Midwest," USDA adds. However, fields have not yet frozen in the waterlogged eastern Corn Belt, largely preventing a return to corn harvesting and other late-season fieldwork, USDA explains.

"In the South, winter agricultural areas from southern Texas to Florida's peninsula were spared a freeze, in part due to an increase in cloudiness and the development of a few rain showers," USDA says. Meanwhile, producers are resuming late-season Southeastern fieldwork, including winter wheat planting and soybean harvesting, USDA reports.

USDA's outlook says during the next several days, temperatures will gradually rebound. In fact, warmer-than-normal weather will develop across the northern Plains and upper Midwest during the weekend, according to USDA. "By early next week, mild weather will return to the eastern half of the U.S. Aside from some weekend showers in southern Texas and the southern Atlantic region, mostly dry weather will prevail," USDA reports. By early next week, however, rain and snow showers will develop in the Southwest, USDA says.


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