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Across the Corn Belt, heavy rain lingers across the lower Great Lakes region, particularly Michigan. The rain is another setback to eastern Corn Belt producers attempting to complete corn and soybean planting. Meanwhile, dry weather prevails from the Mississippi Valley westward, except for a few showers in the Dakotas. However, cool weather throughout the Midwest is maintaining a slow pace of crop emergence and development.

On the Plains, mostly dry weather favors fieldwork, including late-season planting efforts. However, a few showers dot the Dakotas. On June 9, less than one-half of the sorghum (49%) and sunflowers (42%) had been planted. Five-year planting averages on that date for those two crops were 68 and 65%, respectively.

In the South, cool, dry weather prevails, except for some lingering showers and thunderstorms across northern and central Florida in the vicinity of a cold front. For much of the region, the gradual return of drier weather in recent days has allowed fields to begin drying. A few drought-affected areas, however, mainly in the southern Atlantic region, would benefit from some additional rainfall.

In the West, cooler air is starting to spread inland along the Pacific Coast. Hot weather lingers, however, in many interior regions, including the Desert Southwest, Great Basin, and northern Rockies. The warmth is causing some river rises due to melting of high-elevation snowpack.

For the remainder of Thursday, rain will gradually shift from the lower Great Lakes region into the Northeast. Meanwhile, a new cold front will arrive across the Plains and upper Midwest, generating scattered showers. During the weekend and early next week, rain could become heavy from the central and southern Plains into the Northeast, with 1- to 3-inch totals common. Heavy showers may also linger across Florida’s peninsula. Elsewhere, below-normal temperatures will persist across large sections of the Plains, Midwest, and Northeast, while cooler air will spread inland across the Pacific Coast States.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for below-normal temperatures from the Intermountain West to the Great Lakes region, including the northern and central Plains. Hotter-than-normal weather will prevail, however, in California, the Atlantic Coast States, and from the southern Plains eastward. Meanwhile, near- or above rainfall across most of the country will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in Oregon, the southern Rockies, and the Rio Grande Valley.

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