Unusally" Warm Temps to Return to Nation's Midsection"

Posted on 03/09/2017 10:18 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, dry weather accompanies a warming trend. The warmest weather, relative to normal, is occurring across the northern and central High Plains.

In the West, warmth continues to expand across California and the Northwest. Cool weather lingers in the Northwest, while precipitation in conjunction with an approaching storm is limited to western Washington, USDA reports.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says a few snow showers linger downwind of the Great Lakes. Otherwise, cold, dry weather prevails. This morning’s low temperatures dipped below 10°F across the northern tier of the Corn Belt.

In the South, USDA reports light freezes were noted this morning as far south as Natchitoches, Louisiana, Meridian, Mississippi and Macon, Georgia — all three locations reported minimum temperatures of either 31 or 32°F. Fruit producers and those with horticultural or nursery interests continue to monitor the ongoing cool spel, USDA states.

In its outlook through March 7, USDA states the National Weather Service has issued freeze warnings for Saturday morning in the Southeast as far south as central Georgia. Although early-March freezes are not unusual in this part of the Southeast, this year’s record-setting February warmth has left blooming fruit trees and other sensitive vegetation vulnerable to freeze injury. In addition, breezy conditions in some areas may hamper any freeze-protection efforts. In parts of the Southeast, sub-freezing overnight temperatures could occur again on Sunday morning. Farther north, sub-zero temperatures can be expected during the weekend across parts of the interior Northeast. Meanwhile, unusually warm weather will return to the nation’s mid-section as a Pacific storm system moves ashore in the Northwest. Five-day precipitation totals could reach 2 to 6 inches or more in northern California and the Pacific Northwest. Heavy precipitation will also develop in the western Gulf Coast region, where rainfall could total 1 to 4 inches. By early next week, the former Pacific storm could lead to snow accumulations in the north-central U.S. and wide-spread showers and thunderstorms from the Mississippi Valley eastward. Dry conditions will persist, however, across the central and southern Plains.

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