USDA: Rain Is Returning to Texas, More Is Needed

February 17, 2012 02:19 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, rain is returning to parts of Texas, where sustained heavy precipitation is still needed to eradicate record-setting drought. "Meanwhile, mild, dry weather covers the northern and central Plains," USDA says.

In the West, USDA says near- to below-normal temperatures persist. "A frost advisory is in effect again this morning across parts of California's San Joaquin Valley," USDA reports. Precipitation associated with a developing storm system is confined to southern portions of Arizona and New Mexico, as most of the West continues to brace for drought development or intensification and the prospect of significantly below-normal spring and summer runoff, according to USDA.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says mild, mostly dry weather prevails. "From the Ohio Valley into the lower Great Lakes region, soggy soils and frequent freeze-thaw cycles remain a concern with respect to the soft red winter wheat crop," USDA reports.

In the South, USDA reports a broken band of showers stretches from Texas to northern Florida. "The rain across the Deep South is providing beneficial moisture for pastures and winter grains," USDA says. However, most of Florida's peninsula remains extremely dry, USDA adds, resulting in heavy irrigation demands for citrus and other winter crops.

USDA's outlook says a developing storm over the Rio Grande Valley will reach the western and central Gulf Coast states on Saturday and the southern Mid-Atlantic Coast on Sunday. "Storm-total rainfall of 2 to 4 inches will provide drought relief from eastern Texas to the Carolinas, but only light rain will dampen Florida’s peninsula," USDA says. Farther north, it is becoming increasingly likely that heavy, wet snow will fall on Sunday from the central Appalachians to the Mid- Atlantic Coast, according to USDA. "Elsewhere, late-week precipitation will spread from the Pacific Northwest to the Intermountain West, with significant snow possible at higher elevations. However, little or no precipitation will fall in California," USDA explains.


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