Winter-like Regime Limits Fieldwork in the Midwest

Posted on 03/09/2017 10:23 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, dry weather prevails, despite an increase in cloudiness across southern areas. "Rangeland, pastures, and winter wheat are in need of moisture across portions of the central and southern Plains, parts of which have also recently been hit with wildfires, blowing dust and freezes," USDA details.

In the West, USDA reports rain showers continue to increase in coverage and intensity across southern California and the Desert Southwest, slowing fieldwork but boosting topsoil moisture. "In contrast, dry weather and record-setting high temperatures are promoting Northwestern fieldwork and crop development," USDA adds.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says cold, mostly cloudy, breezy weather persists, accompanied by a few rain and snow showers. "The winter-like weather regime continues to limit spring fieldwork, including Michigan’s sugarbeet planting—not yet underway by April 3, compared to the five-year average of 12%," USDA elaborates.

In the South, USDA reports rain showers have mostly ended, although below-normal temperatures prevail. Conditions are mostly favorable for planting activities and other spring fieldwork, except in areas where soils remain wet.

In its outlook, USDA says a the National Weather Service (NWS) has already issued freeze warnings for the weekend from the Ohio and middle Mississippi Valleys eastward into the Mid-Atlantic region. "In those regions, including parts of the interior Southeast, the potential for damage to fruit crops, ornamentals, and other tender vegetation exists due to accelerated crop development from a warm March, which nationally was the fourth warmest on record behind 2012, 2007 and 1910," USDA details. Meanwhile, precipitation will continue to spread northward across the West and eastward toward the southern Plains, USDA reports Five-day precipitation totals could reach 1 to 3 inches in parts of California and 1 to 2 inches in the Southwest, it explains. "Farther east, significant rainfall is expected to bypass the driest areas of the central and southern High Plains," USDA adds. Early next week, it says rain (and thunderstorms) will return to the South, while very warm conditions will persist in the Northwest.


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