USDA: Warm, Dry Conditions Worrisome for Wheat on the High Plains

March 15, 2012 03:17 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, dry weather accompanies record-setting warmth. "Today's high temperatures will range from near 70°F on the northern High Plains to at least 85°F on the southern High Plains," USDA elaborates. In the latter region, winter wheat and rangelands are being stressed by warm, dry conditions, USDA says. "Moisture will soon be need on the northern High Plains, where winter wheat is breaking dormancy," USDA reports.

In the West, USDA says widespread precipitation continues to ease drought and improve water-supply prospects across northern California and the interior Northwest. "Meanwhile, mild, dry weather covers the Southwest," USDA adds.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says very warm weather prevails. "Isolated thunderstorms are confined to the eastern Corn Belt," USDA reports, continuing "Today's high temperatures will exceed 80°F in parts of the southern Corn Belt."

In the South, USDA says warm, mostly dry weather is promoting a rapid pace of fieldwork and crop development. "Today's temperatures will top 80°F in most areas, and will approach 90°F in parts of the Southeast," USDA explains.

USDA's outlook says record-setting warmth will continue into next week in many areas from the Plains to the Atlantic Seaboard. "Temperatures will average at least 20°F to 30°F above normal from the northern and central Plains into the Northeast," USDA elaborates. Meanwhile, a series of Pacific storms will maintain unsettled conditions in northern and central California and the Northwest, according to USDA. "Additional precipitation could reach 2 to 5 inches in the Sierra Nevada, California’s key watershed region," USDA reports. During the weekend, USDA says rain and snow showers will spread into southern California and parts of the Southwest. "By early next week, heavy showers and locally severe thunderstorms will erupt across the south-central U.S.," USDA explains.


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