USDA: Storm to Emerge on Great Plains Thursday

November 19, 2013 02:41 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, mild, dry weather prevails in advance of an approaching storm system. "The late-season warmth favors fieldwork and winter wheat development," USDA reports. On Nov. 17, the sunflower harvest was nearly two-thirds complete in the Dakotas, USDA explains. Farther south, harvest activities are ongoing for crops such as cotton (nationally, 68% complete on Nov. 17) and sorghum (nationally, 91% complete), according to USDA.

In the West, USDA says a Pacific storm is producing widespread precipitation as far east as the northern Rockies and as far south as the Sierra Nevada. "Snow levels are initially very high with th is storm, with snow mostly confined to the northern Rockies and the highest peaks of the Cascades and Sierra Nevada," USDA reports. Farther south, the cotton harvest is nearing completion in California (97% complete on Nov. 17) and advancing in Arizona (55%), USDA explains.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says dry weather is promoting late-season harvest efforts, where field conditions permit. "Recovery efforts are ongoing in areas affected by last Sunday’s severe weather outbreak," USDA reports. USDA/NASS reports that "several [Illinois] farmers lost equipment, buildings, and homes in the eastern part of the state" and that "wind damage to standing corn was reported in many [Indiana] counties," USDA elaborates.

In the South, cool, dry weather favors autumn fieldwork, USDA says. "In North Carolina, more than three-quarters (76%) of the winter wheat was planted by Nov. 17, while the soybean harvest had reached the halfway mark," USDA reports.

In its outlook, USDA says a developing storm over the western U.S. will emerge across the Great Plains by Thursday. "By week’s end, the storm will move northeastward into eastern Canada," USDA reports. Storm-total precipitation could reach 2 to 5 inches from the southeastern Plains into the mid-Mississippi Valley, while 1- to 2-inch amounts can be expected in northern California and parts of the Southwest, USDA elaborates. "In addition, significant snow can be expected on Nov. 21 in parts of Nebraska and neighboring states," USDA explains. Very cold air will trail the storm, with readings below 0°F possible on Nov. 22-23 as far south as western Nebraska, USDA continues.

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