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Winter to continue as lion and lamb

John Walter 01/18/2012 @ 10:15am

National agricultural weather perspectives continue to focus on drought in Texas and the conditions of the U.S. winter wheat crop.  Mild, dry weather is seen returning to the southern plains, according to USDA's Weather Highlights issued on Wednesday.

"On January 15, nearly three-quarters (74%) of the rangeland and pastures in Texas were rated in very poor to poor condition, along with 46% of the wheat," the report said.

The cold wave passing over the Plains to the north will carry with it some light snow to provide winter wheat with some insulation, USDA said.

The latest National Weather Service 6- to 10- day outlook (January 23-27) calls for warmer-than-normal weather, except for near- to below-normal temperatures across the northern High Plains and the Northwest.

"Meanwhile, above-normal precipitation across most of the northern half of the U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions from the Gulf Coast region into the lower Southeast, and from the Southwest to the central and southern Plains," USDA reported.

THE LONGER VIEW

Longer term, temperatures are trending warmer across large parts of the country, according to MDA EarthSat Weather. The company's latest 31-60 day forecasts sees above normal readings for the southern Plains, southern Delta, Southeast, and southeastern Midwest. Below normal temperatures are forecast for the northern Plains, Prairies, and northwestern Midwest during the 31- 60-day period.

The company's longer-term precipitation forecast sees a generally above-normal readings in more northerly areas, and below-normal conditions in southern areas.
 
"Our precipitation outlook has trended wetter across the southwestern Midwest, and central and northern Plains, but has trended drier across the Delta and Southeast," Don Keeney wrote on Wednesday. "The cool, wet pattern in the northern Plains will increase snow cover a bit, although no substantial snow pack is expected.

"Precipitation in the Midwest will maintain abundant moisture there, while continued drier conditions in the southern Plains will allow moisture there to decline," Keeney said. "The drier trend in the Delta and Southeast will allow moisture there to decline."

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