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Weather hints at a better U.S. crop season

March 15, 2013 at 8:15 AM   |   Comments

STATE COLLEGE, Pa., March 15 (UPI) -- U.S. weather patterns have indicated a more promising growing season in the Midwest and Northeast this year than in 2012, AccuWeather meteorologists said.

"The weather pattern over much of the nation this March is vastly different than last March and will translate to a move favorable environment during the growing season ... in most areas," senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski wrote.

Sosnowski said improvements would be especially pronounced in the grain-growing areas of the Midwest and fruit-growing areas of the Northeast.

In an AccuWeather breakdown of the spring forecast, Sosnowski wrote there would be exceptions to a national trend of increased moisture. Dry weather could still be a problem for farmers in California, Florida and Rocky Mountain states, the report said.

"Less-than-average snowfall this winter in the central and southern Rockies and normal to abnormal dryness this summer could result in reduced water levels on the Colorado River," said Jim Andrews, also a senior meteorologist.

A shortage of snow could also affect California this year.

"A lack of big snowstorms over the Sierra Nevada and other ranges in the West could mean water-resource limitations in California," meteorologist Ken Clark said

What may have been dismal weather for some people in the winter months, could translate to a better crop season for many farmers because snowstorms raised water levels in some areas.

"Storms in recent months have delivered near-normal snowfall from major crop-growing areas of the lower Plains through the Midwest and in parts of the Northwest," Sosnowski wrote.

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