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Across the Corn Belt, the latest round of rain is overspreading areas west of the Mississippi River. Meanwhile, cool but dry weather prevails in the eastern Corn Belt, although ponding and lowland flooding persists in some areas. On June 16 in Ohio, only 68% of the intended corn acreage and 46% of the soybeans had been planted.

On the Plains, widespread showers and locally severe thunderstorms are affecting the northern half of the region. Early Friday, some of the storms across Nebraska and northern Kansas produced large hail and damaging winds. Meanwhile, a heat wave is developing across the southern Plains, where high humidity levels accompany temperatures that later Friday will approach or reach 100 degrees.

In the South, mostly dry weather has returned, but warm, humid conditions continue to promote a rapid pace of crop development. On June 16, more than one-fifth (22 to 29%) of the cotton was squaring in Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas—ahead of the respective state 5-year averages by 6 to 10 percentage points.

In the West, very cool weather prevails, especially in the northern Rockies. In fact, Freeze Warnings are in effect early Friday in several areas, including south-central Oregon and parts of the northern Great Basin. Breezy weather has developed in parts of California and the Southwest, leading to an elevated threat of wildfires. Currently, the nation’s largest active wildfire is the 50,000-acre Woodbury Fire near Superior, Arizona.

A slow-moving cold front will drift eastward across the Plains and Midwest during the next several days, generating locally heavy showers and thunderstorms. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 1 to 3 inches or more across the Midwest, mid-South, and eastern Plains. In contrast, only scattered showers will occur along and near the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, while dry weather will prevail in the Far West. Meanwhile, cool air will expand to cover much of the country, except the South and East, during the weekend.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for cooler-than-normal conditions in the West, while near- or above-normal temperatures will prevail from the Plains to the East Coast. Meanwhile, wetter-than-normal weather in the Southeast, Northwest, and New England will contrast with below-normal rainfall from the Great Lakes region into the Mid-Atlantic States and from the Four Corners region to the central and southern High Plains.

Greg Soulje, a professional meteorologist since 1985, offers national agricultural weather forecasts via "This Week in Agribusiness."