USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, significantly above-normal temperatures are maintaining concerns about the hardiness of the winter wheat crop. On Jan. 29, USDA reports the portion of the Plains' winter wheat crop rated in good to excellent condition ranged from 25% in South Dakota to 65% in Nebraska. "In Montana, only 26% of the wheat was rated good to excellent, compared to 73% at the same time a year ago," USDA explains.
In the West, USDA says rain and high-elevation snow showers dot the northern half of the region, although the heaviest precipitation is confined to the Pacific Northwest. "Meager mountain snow packs remains a major concern in several areas, especially from the Sierra Nevada into the Great Basin," according to USDA.
In the Corn Belt, USDA reports unusually warm weather prevails. "Today's high temperatures will range from 40° F across the northern Corn Belt to near 60° F in the Ohio Valley," USDA adds. In Illinois, 75% of the wheat crop was rated in good to excellent condition on Jan. 29, according to USDA. In Ohio, however, January freezes and thaws have "contributed to the deterioration of the winter wheat conditions from last fall," according to USDA.
In the South, USDA says showers and thunderstorms stretch from the central Gulf Coast into the Appalachians. Meanwhile, warm, unfavorably dry conditions persist in the southern Atlantic region, according to USDA.
In its outlook, USDA says for the remainder of today, rain showers will fall across the South and East, while snow will be confined to northern Maine. "Rain will linger into Thursday in parts of the Mid-Atlantic region," USDA adds. Meanwhile, a new storm will develop across the West, delivering beneficial snow to the northern and central Rockies, according to USDA. "On Thursday and Friday, precipitation will develop across the central and southern Plains, with heavy snow possible in parts of Nebraska, eastern Colorado, and northwestern Kansas," USDA reports. During the weekend, snow may overspread the western Corn Belt, while rain will develop across the South and lower Midwest, according to USDA.