USDA: Snow in the Forecast for the Northern & Western Corn Belt

April 9, 2013 03:33 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, warm, mostly dry weather favors fieldwork in the Ohio and middle Mississippi Valleys. "In Missouri, corn was 4% planted by April 7, compared to 21% at the same time last year and the five-year average of 7%," USDA details. In stark contrast, USDA says cold weather covers the northern and western Corn Belt. In addition, USDA reports showers and thunderstorms are spreading into the upper Midwest, with some freezing rain and snow occurring across the northwestern fringe of the Corn Belt.

In the West, USDA reports chilly conditions persist, although temperatures are starting to rebound in northern California. Farther east, snow is falling in the central and southern Rockies and parts of the Intermountain West, according to USDA.

On the Plains, a major, late-season storm is unfolding. "Across Nebraska, current temperatures range from near 10°F along the Wyoming border to 60°F or higher in the southeastern corner of the state," USDA reports. Wind-driven snow is stressing livestock but providing beneficial moisture in northeastern Colorado, the plains of Wyoming, northern and western Nebraska, and much of South Dakota, according to USDA. Warmth lingers across the southeastern Plains, USDA adds.

In the South, USDA says warm weather is promoting rapid crop development. "Fieldwork is proceeding in most areas, although a few showers and thunderstorms have developed in the Tennessee and lower Mississippi Valleys," USDA continues.

In its outlook, USDA says a potent spring storm across the nation’s mid-section will reach the Midwest on Thursday and New England by week’s end. "Additional precipitation could reach 2 to 4 inches, with locally higher amounts, in the Midwest and lower Mississippi Valley, USDA explains. Meanwhile, USDA reports snow will fall during the mid- to late-week period across the northern and western Corn Belt. "Farther south, locally severe thunderstorms will erupt later today across the southeastern Plains and sweep into the Southeast by Thursday," USDA details. In the storm’s wake, mid- to late-week freezes can be expected as far south as Texas’ northern panhandle, according to USDA.

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