USDA: Storm Developing on the Central High Plains

March 11, 2014 03:50 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, warm, windy weather covers much of Texas, Oklahoma and eastern Kansas. "In addition, topsoil moisture is limited on the southern Plains — 76% very short to short in Texas on March 9," USDA explains. As a result, USDA reports there is an enhanced risk of wildfires today, especially in western sections of Texas and Oklahoma. "Farther north, a mixture of rain and snow has developed across South Dakota," according to USDA.

In the West, USDA says lingering rain and snow showers are confined to the northern Intermountain region. "Meanwhile, unfavorably warm, dry weather covers California," USDA adds. According to the California Department of Water Resources, the water content of the high-elevation Sierra Nevada snowpack stands at 8 inches, just 30% of normal, USDA explains.

In the Corn Belt, USDA reports some light precipitation (rain and snow) is overspreading the upper Midwest. "Elsewhere, warm weather across the southern Corn Belt contrasts with a lingering chill in the Great Lakes region," USDA details. Current snow depths include 13 inches at Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, according to USDA.

In the South, USDA reports rain is confined to a small area along the central Gulf Coast. "Elsewhere, warm, dry weather favors an acceleration of spring fieldwork," USDA explains.

In its outlook, USDA says a developing storm centered over the central High Plains will move generally eastward, reaching the northern Mid-Atlantic states by late Wednesday and the New England coast on Thursday. "Snow will fall north of the storm’s track, with significant accumulations expected from northern Illinois to Maine," USDA explains. Showers and thunderstorms will occur in the vicinity of the storm’s trailing cold front, mainly along the Gulf Coast and from the middle Mississippi Valley into the Mid-Atlantic region, USDA continues. Storm-total precipitation could reach 1 to 2 inches in the central Gulf Coast region and from the middle Mississippi Valley to New England, USDA explains. A sharp but short-lived cold snap will trail the storm across the Midwest and Northeast, according to USDA. Meanwhile, dry weather will prevail through week’s end in California, the Great Basin, and the southern High Plains, USDA continues.

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