USDA: Rains Expected for the South over Christmas

December 21, 2012 02:17 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, cool, breezy weather prevails in the wake of a departing storm, currently centered over the lower Great Lakes region. "Widespread snow showers linger across the eastern Corn Belt, while dry weather has returned west of the Mississippi River," USDA continues. Early-morning snow depths include 12 inches in Des Moines, Iowa, and over 11 inches in Madison, Wisconsin, USDA reports.

In the West, USDA says heavy precipitation is falling in parts of northern California, while rain and snow showers dot the Northwest. "Scattered freezes were noted this morning in the Desert Southwest, although temperatures were generally not as low as those observed on Thursday," USDA explains.

On the Plains, USDA says winter wheat continues to benefit from recent soil moisture improvements across central portions of the region. "However, milder weather on the High Plains is already initiating some snow-melt," USDA explains.

In the South, USDA says cool, dry weather prevails. "Recent showers and thunderstorms caused local wind damage but provided highly beneficial moisture for Southeastern pastures and winter grains," USDA reports.

In its outlook USDA says the storm system currently centered over the lower Great Lakes region will drift eastward, reaching northern New England by Saturday. "In the storm’s wake, snow squalls will persist through Saturday downwind of the Great Lakes," USDA explains. Late in the weekend, USDA says a new Pacific storm will arrive in northern California. "By Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, widespread snow showers will cover the Intermountain West," USDA reports. From Dec. 25-27, the storm will emerge from the Rockies and become a formidable system across the South, East and Midwest, USDA continues. The first significant effects will be felt on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, when rain will break out across the South and snow will develop across portions of the Plains, according to USDA. The storm is expected to move toward the Mid-Atlantic Coast on Dec. 27, although the track and resultant precipitation types and intensity remain uncertain at this time; however, this storm could bring widespread, locally heavy wintry precipitation to portions of the East during the latter half of next week, USDA reports.


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