Drought Continues to Expand and Intensify on the Southern Plains

Posted on 02/13/2018 10:28 AM

On the Plains, USDA reports temperatures are starting to rebound, following the recent cold snap. In most areas from Nebraska northward, an extensive snow cover continues to provide winter wheat with beneficial moisture and insulation, USDA details. On the southern Plains, however, where some locations have not received measurable precipitation in more than four months, drought continues to expand and intensify, according to USDA.

In the Corn Belt, a substantial snow cover continues to blanket all but the southern tier of the region, USDA explains. “The current snow depth in Rockford, Illinois, where measurable snow fell each day from Feb. 3-11, stands at one foot,” it details. Temperatures are starting to moderate, but scattered sub-zero temperatures were reported early today across the northern Corn Belt, USDA continues. In addition, some light snow is falling in the upper Mississippi Valley, it adds.

In the West, USDA reports widely scattered showers are limited to coastal southern California and parts of the Four Corners states. “Temperatures are at near- or below-normal levels following last week’s record-setting warmth,” USDA continues.

 In the South, USDA reports scattered showers are confined to the southern Mid-Atlantic states and the western Gulf Coast region. “Mild, dry weather prevails elsewhere, although fields in many areas remain soggy in the wake of multiple rainfall events,” USDA details.

USDA reports that during the next few days, disorganized, generally light showers will affect several areas, including parts of the Southeast and much of the West. “Late in the week, however, heavy precipitation will become concentrated across the South, East, and lower Midwest,” USDA continues. Five-day precipitation, mostly rain, could reach 1 to 3 inches or more from northeastern Texas into the Ohio Valley, it elaborates. Meanwhile, the agency reports periods of high-elevation snow will continue from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies, with precipitation briefly affecting the Intermountain West. “Elsewhere, the South, East, and Midwest will experience a brief but marked warming trend, followed by a return to colder weather by week’s end,” according to USDA.

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