USDA: Snow & Ice Expected for Central Plains & Ohio Valley

December 11, 2013 02:34 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, a moderate to deep snowpack protects northern winter wheat from bitter cold (readings locally below -20°F). "Snow cover remains patchy and shallow across the central High Plains, though this morning’s low temperatures did not pose a threat to winter wheat," USDA details.

In the West, USDA reports unseasonably cold conditions (up to 25°F below normal) persist from the Northwest into central California. "Citrus producers in the San Joaquin Valley are once again contending with temperatures as low as 24°F, although most locations this morning are closer to 30°F," according to USDA.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says most of the region’s winter wheat areas are protected from the ongoing arctic blast by a moderate to deep snow cover. "However, snow is shallow and patchy in eastern portions of the Ohio Valley," USDA adds.

In the South, snow cover blankets the northern Delta, while temperatures up to 15°F below normal are occurring from eastern Texas into the interior Southeast, USDA explains. In contrast, warm, dry conditions favor fieldwork and crop development in central and southern Florida, it continues.

In its outlook, USDA says very cold conditions will shift east, allowing much-needed warmth to gradually return to the Pacific Coast states. "However, temperatures will still average locally more than 20°F below normal from the central and northern Plains into the Northeast," USDA details. Generally dry weather is expected across the nation over the next two days, although a weak disturbance will generate light snow across the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes, USDA explains. "By week’s end, a developing storm over the southern Plains will generate snow and ice from the east-central Plains into the Ohio Valley, while rain falls in the warmer air over the south-central U.S.," USDA continues. Moisture from this system will reach the East Coast by the weekend, USDA reports.



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