Weather report: Winter storm stretches across the northern Plains
Brad Rippey, Agricultural Meteorologist, 02/11/2013
In the West, a freeze warning is in effect this morning in California’s San Joaquin Valley, but temperatures are generally not low enough to pose a significant threat to citrus or other temperature-sensitive crops. Cold weather also covers the remainder of the West, while some snow showers linger in the Four Corners States.
On the Plains, a winter storm is winding down across the eastern Dakotas and has already ended farther southwest, including across Nebraska. Cold, breezy weather prevails in the storm’s wake.
In the Corn Belt, blizzard conditions are gradually subsiding across the eastern Dakotas and western Minnesota, while a winter storm is winding down across the remainder of the upper Midwest. Nevertheless, lingering, wind-blown snow across the upper Midwest is contributing to livestock stress and causing travel disruptions. Blustery but dry conditions prevail across the remainder of the Corn Belt.
In the South, a band of rain stretches across the Deep South from central and eastern Texas to Georgia and the Carolinas. During the last 24 hours, widespread 2- to 5-inch rainfall totals have triggered widespread flooding from eastern Louisiana to parts of Alabama, while several tornadoes battered portions of Mississippi and Alabama. However, rainfall continues to largely bypass Florida’s peninsula, where irrigation demands persist.
Outlook: The winter storm currently affecting the upper Midwest will drift into eastern Canada and weaken. The Northeast, battered by a severe winter storm on February 8-9, will experience some additional wintry precipitation (snow, sleet, and freezing rain) today before a change to rain occurs. Farther south, 5-day rainfall totals could reach 2 to 4 inches from Louisiana to Georgia and South Carolina, possibly resulting in additional flooding. At midweek, a narrow band of snow may occur from the southern Plains into the northern Mid-Atlantic region, followed by a late-week surge of cold air from the Plains eastward. Elsewhere, generally tranquil weather will prevail in the West, except for some snow in the Rockies. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for February 16-20 calls for near- to below-normal temperatures nationwide. The Southeast will experience the greatest likelihood of colder-than-normal weather. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with wetterthan- normal conditions from the northern Plains into the Northeast.