USDA: Very Cold Temps on Tap for the Midwest & Plains

February 4, 2014 03:01 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, very cold weather prevails. "Highly beneficial precipitation—mostly snow, along with some sleet and freezing rain—is falling across winter wheat production areas of the central and southern Plains," USDA explains. Meanwhile, rain showers dot eastern Texas. Most of the northern Plains’ wheat—especially in Montana —has adequate snow cover to protect the crop from sub-zero temperatures, according to USDA.

In the West, USDA says cold, dry weather prevails, except for some lingering snow showers across the Rockies and Intermountain region. "Despite recent precipitation, the water content of the high-elevation Sierra Nevada snowpack stands at just 3 inches, approxima tely one-sixth of the early-February normal," USDA details.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says snow is overspreading the mid-Mississippi and lower Missouri Valleys. "Very cold conditions cover the remainder of the Midwest, maintaining stress on livestock," USDA adds. This morning’s temperatures dipped below 0°F in much of the upper Midwest, USDA elaborates.

In the South, USDA reports warmth lingers across Florida. "Cold weather covers the remainder of the region, accompanied by rain in the western Gulf Coast region and a wintry mix (sleet and freezing rain) in the Mid-South," USDA explains.

In its outlook, USDA says cold, stormy weather will continue to dominate the nation through week’s end. "For today and Wednesday, a sprawling storm system will produce wintry precipitation (snow, sleet, and freezing rain) in a huge swath from the Rockies and central and southern Plains into the Ohio Valley and Northeast," USDA elaborates. Although the storm will bypass the northern Plains and upper Midwest, those regions will have to contend with bitterly cold conditions and dangerously low wind chill temperatures, according to USDA. "Farther south, a few strong thunderstorms may occur from the lower Mississippi Valley to the southern Atlantic Coast," USDA continues. Late in the week, USDA reports precipitation will linger across the South and overspread the West. "By the weekend, another winter storm will take aim on the eastern half of the U.S.," USDA explains. During this week, cold weather will cover much of the U.S., with sub-zero temperatures expected at times as far south as the central Plains and the Ohio Valley, USDA reports.

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