USDA: Southern Plains Freeze Warnings Worrisome for the Winter Wheat Crop

March 25, 2013 03:34 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, cold, breezy conditions prevail. Snow is falling across much of the central and eastern Corn, especially from Illinois to Ohio. "Snow flurries linger across the remainder of the Midwest," USDA adds.

In the West, USDA says warm, dry weather across California favors spring fieldwork. "In contrast, very cold conditions persist in the Rockies and adjacent areas of the eastern Intermountain West," USDA elaborates.

On the Plains, USDA says unusually cold weather prevails in the wake of a departing storm. "A few snow showers linger across eastern portions of the Northern Plains," USDA adds. Freeze warnings are in effect this morning across much of central and northeastern Texas, as well as eastern Oklahoma, according to USDA. "Winter wheat that is just starting to joint can typically be harmed by temperatures below 20°F; in Oklahoma, where 31% of the crop had jointed by March 17, today’s low temperatures generally ranged from 20°F to 30°F," USDA elaborates.

In the South, USDA says showers and thunderstorms are crossing the southern tip of Florida. "Meanwhile, snow showers are affecting the interior Southeast, including parts of Kentucky and Tennessee," USDA continues. Farther west, freeze warnings are in effect this morning in several areas, including portions of Arkansas and northern Louisiana, USDA explains.

In its outlook, USDA says a complex storm system currently draped across the Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic states will intensify over the western Atlantic Ocean, generating additional snowfall for the remainder of today. "Scattered snow showers will linger, however, through Tuesday," USDA elaborates. Following several days of generally tranquil weather, USDA says precipitation will develop toward week’s end across the southern half of the Plains and parts of the West. "Some of the heaviest precipitation, locally an inch or more, can be expected across the Southern Plains and the Pacific Northwest," USDA explains. Most areas east of the Rockies will remain locked into a cold weather pattern, although late-week warmth will spread from the West to the High Plains, according to USDA.


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