USDA: Winter Storm Warning for the Upper Midwest

10:58AM Apr 16, 2014
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USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, NWS freeze warnings are in effect early today in the Ohio Valley. "However, winter wheat is lagging in development—only 5% jointed in Ohio by April 13, for example—and should be able to withstand the cold weather," USDA details. Meanwhile, snow is developing in the upper Midwest, mainly in the Dakotas and Minnesota, according to USDA.

In the West, USDA reports showers are spreading inland across western Washington. "Elsewhere, warm, dry weather prevails in California and the Desert Southwest, maintaining heavy irrigation demands," USDA continues.

On the Plains, USDA says snow is developing across portions of Montana and the Dakotas. "Farther south, mild weather is temporarily returning to the central and southern Plains, following the freeze event of April 14-15," USDA details. Producers continue to monitor winter wheat for any signs of freeze injury, USDA adds.

In the South, USDA reports NWS freeze warnings are in effect early today as far south as portions of Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. "Of particular concern are heading winter grains (wheat was 16% headed in Alabama on April 13); fruit crops that are blooming or beyond, many of which escaped harm during a freeze three weeks ago on March 26-27; and emerged summer crops, such as corn," USDA details.

In its outlook, USDA says for the remainder of today and tonight, the NWS has issued a winter storm warning for heavy snow from central Minnesota into northern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. "Snowfall could reach 8 to 16 inches in the hardest-hit areas of the upper Great Lakes region," USDA explains. Another cold surge will trail the storm, with late-week temperatures expected to dip below 20°F from parts of the Dakotas into the Great Lakes region, according to USDA. Meanwhile, USDA says a late-season cold wave will gradually ease in the East, although additional frost can be expected during the next couple of mornings, mainly east of the Appalachians. "In contrast, unusual warmth will expand eastward from California, reaching the High Plains during the weekend," USDA reports. At the same time, weekend precipitation will develop across the nation’s mid-section, with local amounts greater than an inch possible from Texas to the Great Lakes states, according to USDA.