USDA: Weekend Showers Forecast for the Western Corn Belt & Plains

08:36AM May 23, 2013
( )

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, small clusters of thunderstorms are developing in a few areas, including tornado-battered Moore, Oklahoma. "The storms are forming in the vicinity of a warm front that separates cool air across the northern and central Plains from hot weather on the southern Plains," USDA details. Drought continues to take a severe toll on rangeland, pastures, winter wheat, and emerging, rain-fed summer crops on the southern High Plains, according to USDA.

In the West, USDA says very cool air continues to settle across the northern Rockies, Pacific Coast states, and the Great Basin. "Freeze warnings are in effect this morning across the northern Great Basin and portions of the interior Northwest," USDA adds. Fieldwork continues under dry conditions from California into the Southwest, while showers are providing beneficial moisture in the northern Rockies and the Pacific Northwest, USDA continues.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says very cool weather and scattered showers continue to limit a return to fieldwork. "However, some producers have been able to resume planting corn and soybeans," it reports.

In the South, USDA says showers are primarily confined to the southern Mid-Atlantic region. "West of the Appalachians, dry weather is promoting fieldwork, including previously delayed planting activities in the Mississippi Delta," USDA explains.

USDA's outlook says unusually cool air will continue to settle across the Midwest, where frost advisories have been issued for Friday morning for portions of northern and central Wisconsin and northern Lower Michigan. "Cool conditions will also cover much of the West, but heat will build during the weekend across the High Plains," USDA details. Early next week, USDA says warmth will expand to cover much of the remainder of the country, including the Plains, Midwest and South. "Meanwhile, the storm currently affecting the East will intensify during the weekend near the northern Atlantic Coast, resulting in as much as 2 to 4 inches of rain in New England," USDA explains. Showers and thunderstorms will become more numerous during the weekend and early next week across the Plains and western Corn Belt, but dry weather will prevail in the Southwest, according to USDA.