USDA: Winter Storm to Precede Cold Blast in Northern Plains, Upper Midwest

February 22, 2012 02:13 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, mild, breezy weather prevails. "Isolated rain and snow showers are confined to the northern High Plains," USDA adds. In the wake of recent precipitation, USDA says gradual drought recovery continues on the Southern Plains. "In Texas, 59% of the rangeland and pastures were rated in very poor to poor condition on February 19, along with 36% of the winter wheat," USDA explains.

In the West, USDA says mild weather prevails. From the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies, USDA reports high winds accompany scattered rain and snow showers. "Unfavorably dry weather covers the remainder of the region," USDA explains.

In the Corn Belt, mild weather is melting any remaining snow cover, except across the northern tier of the region, according to USDA. Early today, USDA says Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, had a 2-inch snow depth. "A few light rain and snow showers stretch from Iowa to near the Indiana-Michigan border," USDA explains.

In the South, warm weather is promoting early-season fieldwork, including spring planting preparations, according to USDA. It continues, "Precipitation is limited to drizzle in southern Texas and showers and thunderstorms crossing Tennessee."

In its outlook, USDA says mid-week warmth across most of the U.S. will be replaced by colder conditions late in the week across the Plains and the Northwest. "During the weekend, colder air will settle across the South, East, and Midwest," USDA reports. Early next week, USDA explains a new surge of cold air will arrive across the Plains and upper Midwest, where sub-zero temperatures should be expected. "In advance of next week’s cold blast, a winter storm may produce significant, wind-driven snow across the Northern Plains and upper Midwest," USDA adds. Elsewhere, significant precipitation will be confined to the Northwest and the eastern one-third of the U.S., while dry weather will prevail from central and southern California to the Southern Plains, according to USDA.


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