USDA: Winterkill Worries for the Central High Plains

December 9, 2013 02:38 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, very cold weather continues. "This morning's temperatures fell below -20°F across portions of the northern Plains, and in recent days have been locally below -30°F, stressing livestock," USDA reports. However, snow has helped to insulate the northern Plains' winter wheat, USDA explains. In contrast, concerns about freeze injury to wheat exist on the central High Plains, where several days of sub-zero readings have occurred without the benefit of a widespread snow cover, according to USDA.

In the West, USDA reports a variety of freeze warnings and freeze advisories remain in effect from California's Central Valley into the Desert Southwest. "The multi-day cold wave continues to threaten temperature-sensitive crops, including citrus, and is keeping producers busy with freeze-protection efforts," USDA explains. Meanwhile, some Northwestern winter wheat -- especially in eastern Washington -- has been exposed to sub-zero temperatures in recent days, USDA details.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says generally light snow lingers in the Great Lakes region. "Elsewhere, cold, dry weather prevails," USDA adds. Across the upper Midwest, bitterly cold conditions (locally below -20°F) and a substantial snow cover are maintaining stress on livestock, according to USDA.

In the South, USDA explains freezing rain is causing some travel and electrical disruptions in the southern Mid-Atlantic piedmont region. Farther south, a band of showers and thunderstorms is crossing the Southeast, according to USDA. In advance of the precipitation, warm weather prevails along the southern Atlantic Coast, USDA details.

In its outlook, USDA says very cold conditions will persist nearly nationwide for several more days, except across the lower Southeast. "Toward week's end, however, near- to above-normal temperatures will return to areas from the Pacific Coast to the High Plains," USDA continues. Meanwhile, USDA says wintry precipitation will linger into Tuesday across portions of the southern Mid-Atlantic states. By mid-week, however, USDA reports dry weather will cover much of the nation, signaling the end of an extended period of very cold and sometimes stormy U.S. weather.


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