USDA: Southern Plains to Remain Dry Through Week's End

March 12, 2013 03:22 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, cold weather accompanies scattered snow showers. A substantial snow cover remains in place across the upper Midwest, but snow has melted away in the southern and eastern Corn Belt, USDA explains.

In the West, USDA says warm, mostly dry weather prevails west of the Rockies. "Summer water-supply concerns exist from California to the central and southern Rockies, despite early-March precipitation," USDA reports. California recently completed its driest January-February period on record, and the Sierra Nevada snow pack is only about two- thirds of normal for mid-March, according to USDA. "However, Southwestern grasses have improved in recent weeks; on March 10, less than one-third (32%) of Arizona’s rangeland and pastures were rated in very poor to poor condition," USDA continues.

On the Plains, USDA says cold, dry weather prevails, except for snow showers in the Dakotas and some light rain in southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma. "Despite recent topsoil moisture improvements, nearly half (44%) of the Texas winter wheat crop was rated in very poor to poor condition on March 10," USDA reports. On the same date, well over half (61%) of the rangeland and pastures in Texas were rated very poor to poor, USDA elaborates.

In the South, lingering rain showers are sweeping across the southern Atlantic states, USDA says. Showers are temporarily reducing irrigation demands across Florida’s peninsula, it adds. "Cool, dry weather covers the remainder of the region," USDA continues.

In its outlook, USDA says a cold front crossing the East will move offshore later today, although precipitation may linger into Wednesday across New England. "In the front’s wake, cold weather will prevail through week’s end in the East, while a series of disturbances will generate snow showers from the Midwest to the Appalachians," USDA reports. Elsewhere, little or no rain will fall through week’s end across the southern half of the U.S., while locally heavy precipitation will occur in the Northwest, according to USDA. "Mid- to late-week temperatures will quickly rebound to above-normal levels across the Plains, while unusual warmth will prevail in the West," USDA explains.

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