USDA: Showers Across the Upper Midwest Easing Drought Conditions

March 12, 2012 03:10 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, a slow-moving disturbance is producing widespread rain showers. "Precipitation is heaviest across the eastern Corn Belt and the Great Lakes region," USDA adds. Showers are especially beneficial across the upper Midwest, where drought has been gradually developing since last autumn, USDA explains.

In the West, USDA says a potent storm is approaching the northern Pacific Coast. "Showers well in advance of the storm are arriving in the Pacific Northwest," USDA reports. Dry weather prevails elsewhere in the West, although cooler-than-normal conditions are largely confined to the southern Rockies and portions of the Pacific Coast states, according to USDA.

On the Plains, USDA says warm, dry weather prevails, except for some lingering rain showers across eastern portions of Nebraska and the Dakotas. "Winter wheat is beginning to break dormancy across the northern Plains and actively growing farther south," USDA reports. Soil moisture shortages remain a significant concern on the southern High Plains, where today's high temperatures will generally range from 75°F to 85°F, according to USDA.

In the South, USDA says a band of rain showers and thunderstorms stretches from the Tennessee Valley to the central Gulf Coast. Elsewhere, dry weather and near- to above-normal temperatures are promoting spring fieldwork and the growth of pastures, winter grains, and fruit crops, according to USDA.

In its outlook, USDA says a disturbance over the Midwest will drift into southeastern Canada by mid-week, resulting in a diminishing area of showers across the eastern U.S. "Meanwhile," USDA continues, "unusually warm conditions will persist for the remainder of the week from the Plains to the East Coast." Cooler-than-normal weather will be mostly limited to the Pacific Coast states, USDA says. For much of the week, USDA reports significant storminess will be confined to the Pacific Northwest, where five-day precipitation totals could reach 4 to 8 inches. "Some of the rain and snow will spread as far south as northern California," USDA adds. Toward week’s end, scattered rain showers will return to portions of the South, East, and Midwest, USDA explains.


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