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Across the Corn Belt, cool, dry weather prevails. Frost Advisories were in effect Friday morning in parts of the western Corn Belt, possibly burning back emerging corn. Meanwhile, soils remain too wet across large sections of the eastern Corn Belt to support corn and soybean planting operations.

On the Plains, Freeze Warnings and Frost Advisories were in effect earlier Friday across western Kansas, eastern Colorado, and large sections of Nebraska. However, it is advantageous for winter wheat that crop development is behind schedule, with only 14% of the Kansas crop headed by May 5—well behind the 5-year average of 41%. Meanwhile, flooding lingers in parts of Oklahoma and eastern Kansas in the wake of recent downpours.

In the South, showers and thunderstorms persist in the western and central Gulf Coast regions, maintaining the threat of flooding and postponing fieldwork. Meanwhile, warm, humid weather in the Atlantic Coast States continues to promote a rapid crop development pace.

In the West, a warm, dry regime in the Pacific Northwest favors the emergence and development of spring-sown small grains. In contrast, cool weather accompanies scattered showers from southern California to the central and southern Rockies. In fact, some late-season snow is falling in the Rockies.

Heavy showers in the western and central Gulf Coast States will linger through remainder of Friday. Thereafter, the focus for heavy rain will shift into the Southeast. Additional rainfall in the western and central Gulf Coast regions may reach 2 to 6 inches or more, while other areas of the southern and eastern U.S. could receive 1 to 3 inches. Meanwhile, little or no precipitation will fall from northern California and the Pacific Northwest to the northern Plains and upper Midwest. In contrast, out-of-season showers will linger through week’s end across southern California and the Southwest. Much of the country will experience cooler-than-normal weather into next week, but early-season warmth in the Northwest will gradually expand across the northern Plains.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- or below-normal temperatures nationwide, except for warmer-than-normal weather in peninsula Florida, Deep South Texas, and northern and central parts of the Rockies and High Plains. Meanwhile, wetter-than-normal weather in northern New England, the Gulf Coast region, and from the Pacific Coast to the Plains will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in the Ohio Valley and the Mid-Atlantic States.

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