USDA: Unusually Warm Temps for the Southern & Central Plains

March 14, 2013 03:09 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, cold weather is maintaining a substantial snow cover across the northern tier of the Midwest. "In addition, some light snow is falling in the upper Mississippi Valley," USDA reports. Current snow depths include 6 inches at Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, and Madison, Wisconsin, according to USDA.

In the West, USDA says precipitation is confined to western Washington. "Elsewhere, warm, dry weather is promoting spring fieldwork but causing some premature melti ng of mid- and high-elevation snow packs," USDA adds.

On the Plains, USDA says dry, unusually warm weather prevails, except for some lingering cold conditions across the eastern Dakotas. "Today’s high temperatures could approach 80°F as far north as the central High Plains, helping to coax winter wheat out of dormancy," USDA elaborates.

In the South, USDA says a freeze warning is in effect this morning across northern and central Georgia. "Throughout the region, cool, dry weather favors fieldwork," USDA adds. Spring planting activities are well underway across the Deep South, USDA continues. For example, the Texas corn crop was 29% planted by March 10, compared to 18% last year at this time and the 5-year average of 22%, according to USDA.

USDA's outlook says during the next few days, a series of fast-moving disturbances will produce generally light rain and snow showers from the northern Plains to the Mid-Atlantic states. Meanwhile, USDA reports some precipitation will also fall in the Northwest, but mostly dry weather will prevail from California to Texas. "During the weekend, a more significant storm system will cross the northern Plains and the Great Lakes region, generating widespread snow," USDA explains. At the same time, rain showers will develop in the East, USDA adds. "Elsewhere, warmth currently affecting the western and central U.S. will gradually be pushed toward the nation’s southern tier," USDA continues. As a result, chilly conditions will persist into early next week from the Great Lakes region into the Northeast, while markedly colder air will overspread the northern Plains, USDA elaborates. "Cooler air will also eventually overspread the Northwest," it adds.


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