USDA: Signficant Snow Seen in Upper Midwest

December 4, 2013 04:08 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, warmth lingers across much of Texas, but bitterly cold air is invading the remainder of the region. Wind-driven snow lingers across portions of the northern Plains, particularly in the eastern Dakotas. The cold, windy, snowy conditions are increasing livestock stress and hampering rural travel.

In the South, warm, humid weather accompanies isolated rain showers. Where conditions permit, late-season fieldwork includes winter wheat planting and cotton and soybean harvesting.

In the Corn Belt, a significant snow storm is disrupting travel and stressing livestock across the upper Midwest. Early-morning snow depths include 4 inches in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and an inch in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Cold, windy weather accompanies the snow. In addition, some freezing rain is occurring from eastern Nebraska to Wisconsin. In contrast, unusual warmth prevails in the Ohio Valley and lower Great Lakes region.

In the West, cold, dry weather prevails across the northwestern half of the region. Most of California's winter agricultural areas escaped a significant freeze this morning, although some growers may have had to take pro-tective measures. Meanwhile, snow stretches from the mountains of the Southwest to the central Rockies.

In its outlook, USDA says for the remainder of today, snow will spread into the upper Great Lakes region but gradually end across the northern Plains. In the West, snow will shift into the southern Rockies before ending. On December 5-6, the focus for wintry precipitation will shift to the southeastern Plains and the Mid-South, where an ice storm can be expected. At the same time, a band of snow will occur from the southern Plains into the Ohio Valley, while 2- to 5-inch rainfall totals could occur from the Mississippi Delta to the northern Mid-Atlantic region. In the latter region, rain will change to wintry precipitation (snow, sleet, and freezing rain) by December 8. In the storm's wake, very cold weather will prevail from the Pacific Coast to the Mississippi Valley. Significant agricultural impacts from the cold wave could include multiple freezes in California's citrus areas and sub-zero temperatures without the benefit of snow cover in winter wheat areas of the central High Plains.



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