USDA: Snow, Rain and Freezing Raing Dot the Southern Plains

March 5, 2014 04:01 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in on the Plains, patches of snow, rain and freezing rain dot the southern half of the region, where drought continues to adversely affect rangeland, pastures and winter grains. "In Oklahoma, very poor to poor crop condition ratings on March 2 included 46% of the range land and pastures and 31% of the winter wheat," USDA details. Meanwhile, cold conditions persist in the Dakotas, but mild weather is returning to the northern High Plains, according to USDA.

In the West, USDA reports a few showers are returning to northern California in the wake of last week’s heavy precipitation event. "However, more impressive precipitation is falling from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies, where runoff from rain and melting snow is increasing the risk of flooding," USDA explains.

In the Corn Belt, lingering cold accompanies some light snow, USDA reports. "Currently, the most significant snow is occurring in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois," USDA continues. Sub-zero temperatures have receded but persist from eastern North Dakota to northern Michigan, according to USDA.

In the South, USDA says warmth is confined to southern Florida. "Meanwhile, a chilly rain is falling from northern Florida to the coastal Carolinas," USDA continues. Foggy conditions and icy roads are making for hazardous driving conditions early today in portions of the Tennessee Valley and neighboring areas, USDA details.

In its outlook, USDA says a barrage of Pacific moisture will maintain mild, wet conditions in the Northwest, leading to possible flooding as far east as the northern Rockies. "Five-day precipitation totals could reach 4 to 8 inches in the Pacific Northwest and 2 to 4 inches in the northern Rockies," USDA details. Although some precipitation will graze northern California, central and southern portions of the state will experience warm, unfavorably dry weather, USDA elaborates. "Meanwhile, a series of disturbances will maintain showery conditions across the Deep South, where five-day rainfall could reach 1 to 3 inches," USDA continues. Late in the week, some snow or freezing rain may occur east of the Appalachians, as moisture interacts with lingering cold air, USDA explains.

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