USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, very warm, dry, windy weather prevails, but high cloudiness is increasing in advance of an approaching storm. "Today’s high temperatures could reach 90°F as far north as Kansas, following last weekend’s sharp cold snap," USDA details. Producers on the southern High Plains continue to evaluate winter wheat for signs of freeze injury; 38% of the crop was jointing in Oklahoma on March 20, along with 20% in Kansas, USDA elaborates.
In the West, USDA reports rain and snow showers linger across northern California and the Northwest, further improving water-supply prospects and easing long-term drought. "Cooler air is overspreading much of the West, but warmth continues in the southern Rockies," according to USDA.
In the Corn Belt, USDA explains mild, breezy weather prevails well in advance of an approaching storm system. "A few snow showers are occurring across the northern tier of the Midwest, mainly in the upper Great Lakes region," USDA elaborates.
In the South, USDA says freeze warnings are in effect early today in the southern Appalachians and adjacent foothills. "Frost advisories are in effect for a broader area covering much of the Southeast," USDA adds. As a result, producers continue to monitor the effects of the sudden cool spell on crops such as winter wheat and blooming fruits, USDA continues.
In its outlook, USDA says for today and Wednesday, the focus for significant precipitation will shift from the Northwest to portions of the Plains and Midwest. "Today’s heavy snow will fall mostly in the northern Rockies and northern Inter-mountain West," USDA elaborates. At mid-week, however, a band of heavy snow can be expected from northern Colorado to northern Lower Michigan, USDA continues. Meanwhile, heavy showers and locally severe thunderstorms may occur on March 23-24 in parts of the South and Midwest, it continues. Storm-total precipitation could reach 1 to 2 inches along the axis of heavy snow, as well as parts of the Southeast, USDA adds. "In the storm’s wake, cold air could once again threaten the southern Plains’ winter wheat," USDA reports. Elsewhere, generally dry weather will prevail for the remainder of the week from California to the Rio Grande Valley, according to USDA.