Spring Sun Can't Hold Back Another Snow Dump in U.S. Plains

(Bloomberg) -- The warm spring sun won’t hold back another dumping of snow and ice across the northern Rocky Mountains and Great Plains, keeping farmers out of fields and threatening young livestock through Wednesday, the U.S. National Weather Service said.

As much as 10 inches (25 centimeters) could fall from Wyoming and Montana eastward through Nebraska and North Dakota, said Bob Oravec, a senior branch forecaster with the Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland. Parts of Minnesota could even pick up an inch.

“It is not atypical,” Oravec said by telephone. “You get lulled into spring and there can still be winter weather.”

Along with the snow, heavy rains will also keep farmers out of fields this week, slowing corn and soybean planting. Any significant change in temperatures can make livestock health issues significantly worse, but the current storm probably won’t bring on a major market reaction, said Matthew Wiegand, a commodity broker at FuturesOne in Lincoln, Nebraska.

There’s less direct risk to newborn calves now than a few weeks ago, he said. Farmers are nearing the end of calving season.

While snow can fall in the Rocky Mountains year round, Denver had its latest measurable snow on June 1, 1919, Oravec said. Freak snows have pulled the rug out from under spring before. New York has gotten trace amounts of snow in May four times including 1995 and 1977, according to the weather service.

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