USDA: Rains over the Upper Midwest Replenished Soil Moisture

April 20, 2012 03:25 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, rain and wet snow are diminishing across the upper Midwest, while a narrow band of showers are pushing slowly across the central Corn Belt. "Yesterday's rain provided much-needed soil moisture to portions of Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin," USDA explains.

In the West, USDA says mostly dry, increasingly warm weather is promoting fieldwork and crop development. "However, cool, rainy conditions linger in the Northwest, boosting soil moisture for winter wheat," USDA adds.

On the Plains, USDA reports beneficial showers and cooler air are settling over central and southern portions of the region behind a slow-moving cold front. "Showers continue to benefit Montana's winter wheat, although warmer-than-normal conditions have returned to the northern High Plains," according to USDA.

In the South, dry weather and seasonable temperatures are promoting fieldwork and crop development, USDA reports. However, it adds, locally severe drought continues to adversely impact winter grains, pastures and summer crops across portions of the Southeast.

USDA's outlook says over the weekend, a slow-moving cold front will trigger widespread showers and thunderstorms across the eastern half of the nation, followed by temperatures 10°F or more below normal. "As the front stalls along the East Coast, a wave of low pressure will develop and move northeast, producing strong winds along with locally heavy rain and possibly high-elevation snow across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast," USDA reports. In contrast, USDA says increasingly hot weather will expand over the western U.S., with temperatures averaging 20 to 30°F above normal across northern portions of the Rockies and Great Plains by early next week.


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