USDA: More Rain Expected for the Corn Belt Thursday

April 8, 2013 03:33 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, a low-pressure system crossing the Mississippi Valley is producing widespread rain showers. "Early today, some of the heaviest rain is falling across northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin," USDA explains. Despite a recent warming trend, especially in the southern Corn Belt, spring fieldwork is off to a slow start, according to USDA.

In the West, USDA reports a spring storm is gradually becoming organized across the southern Great Basin. "The developing storm is already producing windy conditions and widespread rain and snow showers, primarily from the Sierra Nevada to the Intermountain West," USDA continues. In conjunction with the storm, the West’s recent warm spell has ended, USDA explains.

On the Plains, USDA says snow is falling across parts of Montana and North Dakota. "In stark contrast, very warm, breezy conditions persist on the southern High Plains, maintaining stress on rangeland, pastures, and winter wheat, as well as increasing the risk of wildfires," USDA elaborates. Across the remainder of the region, cloudiness is increasing in advance of an approaching storm system, while dense fog has developed in some areas from South Dakota to Kansas, according to USDA.

In the South, USDA says warm, dry weather favors fieldwork and a rapid crop development pace. "Most of the South has adequate soil moisture; notable exceptions include southern Texas and Florida’s peninsula, although most of southern Florida received at least 1 to 2 inches of rain late last week," USDA continues.

In its outlook, USDA says during the next several days, a strong storm will generate active weather. "The slow-moving storm will cross the Southern Plains on Tuesday and reach the Corn Belt by Thursday," USDA reports. Toward week’s end, the low-pressure system will exit the New England coast, USDA adds. "Five-day precipitation totals could reach 2 to 4 inches, with locally higher amounts, from eastern Nebraska into the northern Mid-Atlantic states, and in the states bordering the middle and lower Mississippi River," USDA details. Meanwhile, heavy snow can be expected from the Intermountain West into the upper Midwest, USDA adds. "Elsewhere, windy conditions and wildfires will remain a threat across parts of the southern High Plains and the Southwest, while locally severe thunderstorms will march eastward from the Central and Southern Plains," according to USDA.


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