USDA: Temps Fell Below 20 Degrees Overnight as Far South as Texas

April 24, 2013 03:36 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, widespread lowland flooding continues from the middle Mississippi Valley into parts of the Great Lakes region. "In Illinois, the Illinois River at Peoria crested on Tuesday at 11.35 feet above flood stage, edging the May 1943 high-water mark by more than 6 inches," USDA reports. A band of rain has moved east of the hardest-hit flood areas, and currently stretches from the lower Great Lakes region into the lower Ohio Valley, it continues.

In the West, USDA says temperatures have rebounded to above-normal levels in the Pacific Coast states, but cool conditions persist in the Rockies and the Intermountain region. "Throughout the West, dry weather favors fieldwork," USDA adds. In California, for example, 60% of the cotton and 10% of the rice was planted by April 21, ahead of the respective five-year averages of 53 and 4%, according to USDA.

On the Plains, USDA says freeze warnings are in effect this morning across much of Kansas, Oklahoma, northern Texas and eastern New Mexico. "In fact, readings fell below 20°F as far south as Texas’ northern panhandle, further threatening the Southern Plains’ already drought- and freeze-damaged winter wheat crop," USDA explains. By April 21, wheat was 34% headed in Texas and 5% headed in Oklahoma. Meanwhile, wheat was 86% jointed in Oklahoma and 43% jointed in Kansas, according to USDA.

"In the South, rain in the lower Mississippi Valley and environs separates mild, dry weather in the Atlantic Coast States from cool, breezy conditions farther west," USDA reports.

In its outlook, USDA says a cold front currently stretching from the lower Great Lakes region to the central Gulf Coast will drift eastward and weaken. "Showers associated with the front will move east of the Atlantic Seaboard by Thursday," USDA details. In the front’s wake, snow showers will linger across the north-central U.S., USDA adds. "Late in the week, rain will return to the Southeast, with 1 to 2 inches expected in some areas," USDA explains. Much of the U.S., excluding the Southeast, will experience a warming trend during the next several days, according to USDA.

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