Recent winter storm did not help the nation’s soil moisture

The latest Drought Monitor was just released and it shows the powerful winter storm last week impacted the majority of the U.S.
The arctic blast froze soils from the Great Plains to the upper Mississippi Valley, meaning any precipitation that fell was not able to increase soil moisture.

The eastern and southern portions of the country received freezing rain and snow. Some parts of the mid-Atlantic had two inches of snow while Buffalo, New York officially measured 50 inches of snow during Christmas.

However, drought expanded in parts of the Midwest, Colorado, and Puerto Rico.

Looking ahead to the final days of 2022, USDA meteorologist, Brad Rippey shares some potential impacts for farmers from incoming precipitation.

“Some of those areas especially in the Great Lakes region where we get some rain on top of melting snow, that could lead to some local flood issues, especially in the lake effect snow belt areas that picked up anywhere from two to four feet of snow during the recent storminess. But for the most part, the rainfall will be generally beneficial in continuing to replenish soil moisture reserves as we head through this key recharge season,” he explains.

Rippey expects one to three inches to fall from eastern Texas through the Gulf Coast region and eventually, some of the rain will end up in the lower Midwest and into the eastern U.S.