USDA: Sprawling Storm to Hit Plains, Midwest & Mid-South

February 26, 2014 02:40 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, unusually cold conditions persist. This morning’s temperatures ranged from 0 to -20°F in the upper Midwest, maintaining stress on livestock, USDA explains. "In Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, today marked the 45th day this winter with sub-zero temperatures—the most in any winter since 1981-82," USDA reports.

In the West, USDA says rain is starting to move ashore in northern California. "In advance of the precipitation, warm, dry weather covers the remainder of California, as well as the Great Basin and the Desert Southwest," USDA continues.

On the Plains, USDA reports bitterly cold weather covers the northern half of the region. "Sub-zero temperatures were noted this morning as far south as northern Kansas," USDA details. "On the High Plains, most of the winter wheat has a protective snowcover; current depths include 4 inches at both Great Falls, Montana, and Cheyenne, Wyoming," USDA elaborates. However, snow is thin and patchy in several areas, including eastern Nebraska and northern Kansas, according to USDA.

In the South, USDA reports a chilly rain is halting early-season fieldwork from the western Gulf Coast region into the lower Southeast. "Elsewhere, some snow is falling in the southern Mid-Atlantic region, while very cold, dry air is spreading across the Mid-South," USDA explains.

In its outlook, USDA says rain across the Deep South will end later today, as will snow in the Mid-Atlantic region. "Meanwhile, precipitation will spread inland across California, expanding to cover much of the West on Feb. 27-28," USDA explains. Scattered rain and snow showers will linger across the West into early March, USDA adds. "Five-day precipitation totals could reach 2 to 4 inches or more in the Sierra Nevada and 3 to 6 inches along the California coast," USDA elaborates. Totals of 1 to 3 inches will be common elsewhere in the West, except for locally higher amounts on Arizona’s Mogollon Rim, according to USDA. During the weekend and early next week, USDA reports a sprawling storm will affect the central and eastern U.S. "Snow, sleet and freezing rain can be expected across portions of the Plains, Midwest, Mid-South, and Mid-Atlantic states," USDA explains. Another strong surge of frigid air will trail the storm into the Plains and Midwest, USDA adds.

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