USDA: Warmth on the Southern Plains Is Stressing Wheat, Rangeland

March 16, 2012 03:13 AM

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

In the West, USDA reports 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.

On the Plains, USDA says 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 reports. In the latter region, winter wheat and rangelands are being stressed by warm, dry conditions, according to USDA. "Moisture will soon be need on the northern High Plains, where winter wheat is breaking dormancy," USDA continues.

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 elaborates.

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 reports. 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 adds. During the weekend, USDA explains rain and snow showers will spread into southern California and parts of the Southwest. By early next week, USDA says heavy showers and locally severe thunderstorms will erupt across the south-central U.S.


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