Weather Forecast: Winter Wheat Needs a Drink

November 27, 2012 09:15 AM

On the Plains, bitterly cold weather lingers along the Canadian border, according to USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility. Farther south, however, warmth is quickly returning to the central High Plains. Nearly all the hard red winter wheat crop is in desperate need of moisture. By November 25, one-quarter to two-thirds of the wheat was rated very poor to poor in South Dakota (64%), Nebraska (46%), Oklahoma (44%), Texas (40%), Colorado (34%), and Kansas (25%).

In the West, mild, dry weather favors late-season fieldwork. By November 25, the Arizona cotton harvest was 65% complete.

In the Corn Belt, light snow is ending across the Ohio Valley. Cool, dry weather covers the remainder of the Midwest, where producers have largely completed harvest activities.

In the South, scattered showers stretch from the central Gulf Coast into the southern Appalachians. The rain has not reached the southern Atlantic coastal plain, where late-season fieldwork continues. On November 25, at least one-fifth of the cotton remained in the field in Georgia (79% harvested) and South Carolina (80% harvested). Meanwhile, cooler air is overspreading the western Gulf Coast region.

The Weather Ahead

A fast-moving disturbance will reach the Mid-Atlantic Coast later today. Some additional snow can be expected in the northern Mid-Atlantic region, while rain showers will linger across the Southeast.

A brief period of cold weather will trail the disturbance, but warmth will expand into the Plains by mid-week. Mild weather will return to the remainder of the U.S. during the second half of the week, except for lingering cool conditions from the Great Lakes region into the Northeast. Precipitation will return to the Pacific Coast States on Wednesday, followed by a late-week deluge in northern California. Five-day precipitation totals could reach 1 to 3 inches in the northern Rockies; 2 to 5 inches in the Pacific Northwest; and 6 to 12 inches in northern California.

The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for December 2-6 calls for above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions along the southern Atlantic Coast. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation across the central and southern Plains, as well as neighboring areas in the Southeast and Southwest, will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in northern California and across much of the nation’s northern tier.

Watch today's weather forecast from AgDay:


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