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USDA: Snow Stresses Livestock in Upper Midwest & the Dakotas

08:16AM Feb 29, 2012

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, recovery efforts are underway in parts of eastern Kansas, where overnight thunderstorms resulted in localized wind damage. "Farther north, wind-driven snow is maintaining livestock stress and causing travel disruptions in the Dakotas, where blizzard and winter storm warnings remain in effect," USDA reports. Meanwhile, breezy, dry conditions persist on the southern High Plains, following Tuesday's dust storm, USDA explains.

In the West, USDA says chilly weather prevails. "Beneficial precipitation is spreading across northern and central California, while locally heavy rain and snow showers dot the Northwest," according to USDA.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says a late-winter storm centered over southern Minnesota is producing locally severe thunderstorms in the Ohio Valley and wind-driven snow in the upper Midwest and the upper Great Lakes region. "The upper Midwestern snow is stressing livestock and causing travel disruptions, and a blizzard warning remains in effect in parts of the Dakotas," USDA says. Meanwhile, rain is falling in the eastern Corn Belt, it adds.

In the South, USDA says a line of locally severe thunderstorms stretches from Kentucky into northeastern Texas. "The line has a history of producing damaging winds and isolated tornadoes, with some of the most widespread damage reported overnight in eastern Kansas and southern Missouri," according to USDA. Meanwhile, USDA says warm weather across the Deep South is promoting early-season fieldwork and the growth of pastures and winter grains.

In its outlook, USDA says an extremely active weather pattern will continue during the next several days. "A strong low-pressure system currently centered over the upper Mississippi Valley will drift eastward, resulting in heavy snow from the Great Lakes region into parts of New England. Farther south, locally severe thunderstorms will sweep across the Mid-South, lower Midwest, and Southeast," USDA explains. Meanwhile, a new storm will begin to take shape over the Northwest, according to USDA. "By week’s end, the new low-pressure system will track from the southern Plains to the Great Lakes region, resulting in some additional snow in the upper Midwest and rain across the South and East," USDA reports.