Growing Season Ends Across Upper Midwest

Posted on 03/09/2017 10:20 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, frost and freeze warnings are in effect this morning across the upper Midwest. In fact, cooler, drier air is overspreading all of the Corn Belt in the wake of a cold front’s passage, although a few showers linger across the Ohio Valley.

In the South, warm, dry weather in the Gulf and Atlantic Coast States is promoting summer crop harvesting and winter grain planting. However, extremely dry conditions persist across the interior Southeast, where pastures were rated at least 40% very poor to poor on Oct. 9 in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. Meanwhile, cooler air and showers are pushing across the northern Delta and the Tennessee Valley.

On the Plains, frost and freeze warnings are in effect early today as far south as Kansas. The cold weather is slowing winter wheat emergence but otherwise causing few concerns. Meanwhile, milder weather is returning to Montana, following an early-week cold spell that locally resulted in readings below 10ºF, USDA states.


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

In the West, heavy rain and strong winds are accompanying the first in a series of cold-season storms in the Pacific North west. The moisture is generally timely, as Washington led the Northwest with 81% of its intended winter wheat acreage planted as of Oct. 9, USDA notes.

In its outlook, USDA says multiple storms will cross the Northwest during the next several days, resulting in heavy to locally excessive precipitation. In favored coastal and upslope regions of northern California and the Pacific Northwest, 5-day totals could reach 10 to 20 inches or more, leading to possible flooding. Totals of 2 to 6 inches can be expected in parts of the northern Rockies, with some high-elevation precipitation falling as snow. In addition, strong winds will accompany some of the Northwestern storminess. In contrast, generally light late-week showers across the southern half of the U.S. will be confined to Florida’s peninsula and from the southern Plains into the mid -South. During the weekend, showery weather will return to the Great Lakes States. Except in the Far West, above-normal temperatures will dominate the U.S. by week’s end into early next week, USDA states.



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