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USDA: Wintry Precip Forecast for Central & Southern Plains Next Week

08:36AM Feb 27, 2014

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, cold weather prevails in most areas, although early-morning temperatures below 0°F were generally limited to eastern Montana and the Dakotas. "Dry conditions and weather extremes remain concerns with respect to winter wheat in some places, particularly on the southern High Plains," USDA explains. In addition, mild, breezy conditions are developing across the central and southern High Plains, according to USDA.

In the West, USDA reports the first of two storms is producing beneficial showers in California and the Great Basin. "The storm is not appreciably altering the bleak water-supply situation, but is dampening parched fields," USDA continues.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says frigid, breezy conditions persist. "Extreme cold blankets the upper Midwest, where this morning’s temperatures ranged from 0 to -30°F," USDA adds. In Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul marked its 46th day this cold season with sub-zero temperatures—the most in any winter since 1978-79, according to USDA.

In the South, USDA adds a few rain showers linger across Florida’s peninsula. Elsewhere, cold, dry weather prevails. "Low temperatures fell below 20°F as far south as northern portions of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, according to USDA.

In its outlook, USDA says precipitation in California will end later today but return on Friday. Locally heavy showers will linger across California into the weekend, USDA adds. "The remainder of the West will also receive precipitation; five-day totals could reach 2 to 5 inches in coastal California and the Sierra Nevada and 1 to 3 inches in the Rockies and higher elevations of the Intermountain West," USDA details. In early March, a late-winter storm will take aim on the central and eastern U.S., USDA continues. "On March 2-3, snow, sleet, and freezing rain can be expected from the central and southern Plains into the Mid-Atlantic states, while showers and thunderstorms will sweep across the Deep South, USDA elaborates. Unusually cold weather will continue to dominate areas east of the Rockies, except for a brief period of pre-storm warmth from the southern Plains into the Southeast, according to USDA.