Wind-driven Snow Possible for the Upper Midwest

Posted on 03/09/2017 10:20 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, mild, dry weather continues to promote winter wheat growth—except in areas with soil moisture shortages—and autumn fieldwork. "On Nov. 13, topsoil moisture was rated at least one-half very short to short in Colorado (64%), Wyoming (53%), and Nebraska (52%)," USDA details.


In the West, USDA reports shower activity is increasing from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies in conjunction with a developing storm system. Warm, dry weather covers the remainder of t he West.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says corn and soybean harvest activities are nearing completion under a mild, dry weather regime. "The U.S. soybean harvest was 97% complete by Nov. 13. In addition, Midwestern winter wheat planting was nearly finished, ranging from 87% complete in Missouri to 99% in Ohio," USDA elaborates

In the South, USDA explains a few showers are occurring in Mississippi and Alabama. However, much of the interior Southeast remains critically dry, with impacts on air quality due to smoke from wildfires; water supplies for some farms and small communities; and the condition of pastures, winter grains, and cover crops, USDA continues. "On Nov. 13, topsoil moisture was rated at least 90% very short to short in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi," USDA details.

In its five-day outlook, USDA says significant weather changes can be expected across northern sections of the Rockies and Plains, where colder, windy weather will accompany a late-week transition from rain to snow. "In fact, snow will develop as early as today from the Cascades to the northern Rockies, resulting in some accumulations," USDA adds. Heavy snow can be expected at midweek in northwestern Wyoming and environs, USDA reports. By Thursday, it says snow will spread from Wyoming and western Colorado into parts of the Dakotas. "Parts of the far upper Midwest could also see wind-driven snow late in the week, while showers and thunderstorms will develop in the Mississippi Valley and sweep eastward," USDA explains. However, significant rain should dissipate before reaching the drought-stricken Southeast, according to USDA. A brief surge of cold air will trail the storm, but temperatures will rebound to above-normal levels during the weekend as far east as the High Plains, USDA reports.


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