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Across the Corn Belt, warm, humid weather prevails in the Ohio Valley. Across the remainder of the Midwest, cool, stormy weather and soggy fields continue to inhibit nearly all spring planting operations, as well as corn and soybean emergence and establishment. Early Friday, some of the heaviest rain is falling in Iowa and environs.

On the Plains, showers and thunderstorms are occurring in already saturated sections of Kansas and Oklahoma, maintaining the threat of additional flooding. Meanwhile, a chilly rain is falling across parts of the northern Plains, curtailing fieldwork and limiting crop emergence and growth.

In the South, hot, humid weather favors a rapid pace of fieldwork and crop development. However, increasingly dry conditions are becoming a concern in parts of the Southeast. On May 19, topsoil moisture was rated at least 40% very short to short in South Carolina (48%), Florida (42%), and Georgia (41%).

In the West, unusually cool conditions persist, maintaining concerns about slow development and poor quality for a variety of specialty crops, such as cherries and grapes. Dry weather has returned across the Southwest, but scattered showers linger across the northern half of the region.

A barrage of storm systems will continue to emerge from the western U.S., maintaining the likelihood of showers and locally severe thunderstorms across a broad area of the nation’s mid-section. Five-day rainfall totals of 1 to 5 inches or more should occur across the Plains and Midwest, while cool, showery weather will linger across the northern two-thirds of the West. In stark contrast, warm, dry weather will cover the South into early next week.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for wetter-than-normal weather across most of the country, while below-normal rainfall will be confined to the Pacific Northwest and parts of the Southeast and northern Plains. Meanwhile, below-normal temperatures from the Southwest into the upper Midwest will contrast with warmer-than-normal conditions in the Pacific Northwest, along California’s coast, and southeast of a line from central Texas to northern New England.

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