USDA: Storm Provided Beneficial Moisture, Insulation for Central Plains Wheat

February 6, 2012 02:12 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, cool, dry weather prevails. "In the wake of last week's snow storm, which provided beneficial moisture and insulation for the central Plains' winter wheat crop, this morning's snow depths included 9 inches in Denver, Colorado, and 7 inches in Omaha, Nebraska," USDA explains. On the northern and southern Plains, however, wheat remains exposed to potential weather extremes, according to USDA.

In the West, USDA reports generally cool, dry weather prevails in advance of an approaching Pacific storm system. "The water content of the high-elevation Sierra Nevada snow pack stands at just 6 inches, only about 35% of average for early February," USDA says.

In the Corn Belt, mild, tranquil weather regime continues, USDA reports. "Snow still covers portions of the southwestern Corn Belt, in the wake of last week's storm, with 4 inches reported on the ground this morning in Des Moines, Iowa," USDA adds. Much of the remainder of the Corn Belt remains largely free of snow, although dry conditions in the upper Midwest contrast with soggy conditions in the Ohio Valley, according to USDA.

In the South, USDA says a few light rain showers dot Alabama and Florida. "However, drought remains a significant concern across the lower Southeast as the planting season approaches," USDA explains.

In its outlook, USDA says during the next five days, relatively tranquil weather will prevail nearly nationwide. "Along the California Coast, however, a Pacific storm may produce more than an inch of rain by mid-week," USDA adds. Farther inland, only light precipitation can be expected in key watershed areas of the Sierra Nevada, according to USDA. It continues, "Generally light precipitation will also occur across southern Texas and the Pacific Northwest. Elsewhere, mild conditions early in the week across the Midwest and East will be replaced by colder conditions at week’s end."


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