USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says the "monster" storm that is making its way across the United States this week could have some implications for agriculture, particularly livestock.
"Across the Northern Plains where temperatures are in the minus 30s even into the minus 40s that's a big deal for livestock," Rippey says. "Snow depths remain extremely deep across the eastern part of the Northern Plains and then the extremely low wind chills on top of that, so extremely difficult conditions for livestock in the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest."
Those conditions make it hard for producers to feed and water livestock and farther south there is the ice. Rippey says from the Ozark Plateau into the northern Mid-Atlantic region the ice has caused some power disruptions that have affected dairy and poultry operations in particular.
Rippey also says don't expect any letup as bitter cold air moves through following the storm and a gulf storm is brewing that could ice and snow this weekend from the Mid-Atlantic states north.
"And then there's another surge of cold air set to cross the Canadian border next week," Rippey says. "It doesn't look nearly as strong as the current outbreak, but it will bring a return of bitterly cold conditions."
Also looking at the middle of next week another storm system will move through.
"We're going to have to keep an eye on that," Rippey said. "Right now it looks like the greatest chance of major bad weather will be across the Midwest and Northeast, but there will be another blast of cold air behind that. So we remain in an unusually active weather pattern right now with storms affecting broad areas of the country every three to four days."