Above-Normal Temps Return to Plains

Posted on 03/09/2017 10:20 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, temperatures have rebounded to above-normal levels. The warmest weather, relative to normal, is occurring on the High Plains, where cloudiness is increasing in advance of an approaching storm system. Pockets of drought, especially on the central High Plains, are hampering winter wheat establishment.

In the West, USDA reports scattered but generally beneficial showers are spreading across the southern half of the region, from southern California to the southern Rockies. Most of the precipitation is rain, although some snow is falling across higher elevations from the Sierra Nevada into the Southwest. Meanwhile, most of the northern half of the region is experiencing mild, dry weather, although showers are returning to the Pacific Northwest.

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Satellite image with enhanced low cloud-top temperatures for 6:45 a.m. EST (NOAA)

In the Corn Belt, USDA says snow remains on the ground across portions of the upper Midwest, following the recent storm. Elsewhere, dry weather and a gradual warming trend favor late-season harvest efforts.

In the South, freeze warnings are in effect early today from near the central Gulf Coast eastward to northern Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. However, breezy conditions are gradually diminishing as a high-pressure system arrives. In recent days, there has been little change in the Southeastern drought situation, although freezes could lead to more light-fuel availability (e.g. dry leaves, brush) for wildfires, USDA notes.

In its outlook through Nov. 25, USDA says increasingly stormy weather in the Pacific Northwest will lead to 5-day precipitation totals that could reach 2 to 10 inches or more, with some of the heaviest rain and high-elevation snow occurring during the mid- to late-week period. Meanwhile, a fast-moving storm system currently over the Southwest will race eastward, crossing the Mississippi Valley by mid-week and reaching the Atlantic Seaboard by Thanksgiving Day. Accumulating snow associated with that system will be mostly limited to the upper Midwest and the upper Great Lakes region, while storm-total precipitation could locally reach an inch in the upper Midwest and from eastern Texas into the Northeast. However, little or no rain will occur during the next five days in the southern Atlantic States.

Satellite image with enhanced low cloud-top temperatures for 6:45 a.m. EST (NOAA)


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