USDA Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin (1/24): Snow Across Central Plains Causes Travel Disruptions

According to today's Weather and Crop Bulletin report of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), California finally got a reprieve from relentless storms, allowing flood-damage assessments to begin. Meanwhile in the Sierra Nevada, mountain snowpack exceeded the amount expected to fall during an entire October- March season—according to the California Department of Water Resources—with the average water equivalency topping 33 inches.

For California’s farming communities, the bounteous wet season portended more favorable water allocations for 2023, albeit with complications related to lingering standing water and infrastructural damage to levees, roads, and farm buildings and equipment.

Meanwhile, significant precipitation (and storminess) shifted into the Southwest before taking aim on the central Plains and much of the eastern one-third of the U.S. Snow across the central Plains caused travel disruptions and temporarily increased livestock stress—but provided much-needed moisture and insulation for drought-stressed winter wheat.

Precipitation was highly variable across the Midwest, South, and East, with most areas experiencing unusually warm weather and some locations receiving significant rain or snow.

For the full USDA report for Jan. 24, click here.