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Across the Corn Belt, cool conditions are maintaining a slower-than-normal pace of corn and soybean emergence and development, especially in areas where late planting occurred. In addition, scattered showers and thunderstorms are slowing final planting efforts in the Ohio Valley and parts of the western Corn Belt.

On the Plains, widely scattered showers accompany below-normal temperatures. The showers are maintaining favorable soil moisture reserves, except near the Canadian border where some drought has developed.

In the South, warm, humid weather favors rapid crop growth. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are occurring in several areas, including southern Florida and the western Gulf Coast region.

In the West, isolated showers dot the Rockies and the Intermountain region. Several large wildfires— including the 36,000-acre Woodbury Fire near Superior, Arizona—are burning in the Southwest.

During the next several days, multiple disturbances will travel eastward across the country. Each disturbance will help to focus showers and thunderstorms, especially during the afternoon and evening hours. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 1 to 3 inches or more across a broad area from the Plains to the East Coast. Rainfall will be lighter in a few areas, including the southern Plains, portions of the southern Atlantic States, and in the vicinity of the Great Lakes. Meanwhile, generally cool weather will prevail from the northern Plains into the Northeast, but very warm, humid conditions will cover the South. Elsewhere, scattered showers will linger early in the week in the Rockies, but cool, dry air will overspread much of the West late in the week.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for below-normal temperatures northwest of a line from New Mexico to Wisconsin, while hotter-than-normal weather will cover an area stretching from the southern Plains to the middle and southern Atlantic States. Meanwhile, below-normal rainfall from the southern Rockies to the southern Atlantic Coast will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather across much of the northern two-thirds of the country.

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

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