USDA: Rains for the Southern, Central High Plains and the Midwest

March 21, 2012 03:06 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, warm weather is returning to the northern half of the region, but chilly conditions persist farther south. Starkly contrasting conditions exist across the southern Plains, ranging from significant drought across western areas to flooding in some eastern river basins, according to USDA. "Currently, beneficial showers dot the southern High Plains, while lingering rain is aggravating the flood situation in eastern sections of Oklahoma and Texas," according to USDA.

In the West, USDA says a plume of moisture stretches from the Oregon coast to the northern Rockies, generating rain and snow showers. "Cool conditions linger across the Northwest and the southern Rockies, but warm weather is returning to the Intermountain West," according to USDA.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says record-setting warmth continues across the eastern half of the region. "Slightly cooler weather prevails in the western Corn Belt, while rain showers stretch from Missouri into the upper Great Lakes region," USDA reports.

In the South, a band of heavy rain is causing flooding and travel disruptions across parts of Arkansas and Louisiana, according to USDA. "The leading edge of heavy rain is inching into the lower Mississippi Valley," USDA adds. Farther east, USDA explains record-setting warmth continues to promote a rapid pace of fieldwork and crop development, although drought remains a concern across the lower Southeast.

In its outlook, USDA says rain associated with a slow-moving storm will gradually shift northward and eastward, away from flooded areas of the southeastern Plains and Mid-South. However, USDA reports additional rainfall could total 2 to 5 inches in the central Gulf Coast region. "Rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches can be expected on the central High Plains and parts of the Midwest," according to USDA. Toward week’s end, USDA says 1- to 3-inch rainfall totals may occur in the Mid-Atlantic states. "Elsewhere, much of the U.S. will continue to experience above-normal to record-setting temperatures, with warmth returning to the southern Plains and parts of the West," USDA explains.


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