USDA: Rain Expected for the Midwest & Plains This Weekend

January 25, 2013 02:14 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, the latest surge of Arctic air is spilling across the upper Midwest, maintaining livestock stress and resulting in blowing snow and dangerously low wind chills. "In advance of the cold blast, light snow is blanketing much of the eastern Corn Belt," USDA explains.

In the West, USDA says mild weather accompanies scattered rain and snow showers. Currently, the most significant precipitation is falling in southern California and the Pacific Northwest, USDA adds. "Until recently, much of the region has been dry since late December, increasing concerns about summer water supplies—especially in the Great Basin and the Southwest," USDA elaborates.

On the Plains, USDA says bitterly cold conditions in North Dakota and eastern South Dakota contrasts with mild, dry weather farther south and west. Hard red winter wheat remains largely exposed to potential weather extremes, USDA reports.

In the South, freezing rain is causing travel disruptions in parts of Kentucky and Tennessee, as well as neighboring areas in the southern Appalachians, according to USDA. "In contrast, warm, dry weather prevails across the Deep South, from Texas to Florida," USDA elaborates. Very dry conditions persist in Florida, where soil moisture was rated 51% very short to short on Jan. 20, while pastures were rated 32% very poor to poor, USDA continues.

In its outlook USDA says for the remainder of today, snow will spread into the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states, while freezing rain will affect parts of the interior Southeast. Meanwhile, late-week rain and snow showers will fall across much of the West, USDA adds. "During the weekend, generally light rain will affect the central and southern Plains, with some locally heavier amounts possible on the east-central Plains," USDA reports. Early next week, USDA says rain and freezing rain can be expected in the Midwest, as moisture interacts with residual cold air. "In general, markedly milder air will overspread the Midwest and Northeast during the first half of next week, while colder weather will return to the West," USDA elaborates. Arctic air will return to the northern Plains and upper Midwest by January 29, according to USDA.


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