USDA: Slow-moving Storm to Bring Precip to the South

March 4, 2014 03:11 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, temperatures are slowly moderating in the wake of the latest cold outbreak. "On Monday morning, readings dipped to 0°F or below as far south as northern Oklahoma," USDA explains. At the height of the cold spell, a variable snowcover helped to insulate winter wheat, USDA adds. Current snow depths include 4 inches in Enid, Oklahoma, and 2 inches in Wichita, Kansas, USDA elaborates.

In the West, USDA reports warm, dry weather has returned to California, following last week’s drought-easing storminess. "However, summer runoff prospects remain generally unfavorable from California into the Southwest," USDA details.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says cold conditions persist, while snow showers are primarily confined to the Great Lakes region. "This morning’s temperatures were mostly below 10°F, with pockets of sub-zero readings," USDA reports. Snow remains very deep in much of the northern Corn Belt, with 19 inches currently on the ground in Minneapolis, Minnesota, according to USDA.

In the South, USDA reports a new winter storm is underway in the western and central Gulf Coast regions. "Freezing rain is occurring as far south as southern Louisiana, causing widespread travel disruptions," USDA adds. Cold, dry weather prevails elsewhere in the South, except for lingering warmth in southern Florida, USDA details.

In its outlook, USDA says the cold weather pattern from the Plains to the East Coast will persist during the next several days, except for some late-week warmth in the Southeast. "Meanwhile, spring-like warmth will cover much of the West and occasionally reach the High Plains," USDA continues. For the remainder of the week, the focus for heavy precipitation will be the Deep South and the Northwest, USDA reports. "Across the South, a slow-moving storm will produce some freezing rain and locally heavy rain," USDA explains. Late in the week, snow or freezing rain may occur in the southern Mid-Atlantic region as the storm interacts with lingering cold, USDA continues. Farther west, USDA reports five-day precipitation totals could reach 4 to 6 inches in the Pacific Northwest and 1 to 3 inches in the northern Rockies. In contrast, little or no precipitation will occur in southern California, the Desert Southwest, and from the northern Plains into the Northeast, according to USDA.

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