The 6-10 day temperature outlook
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Across the Corn Belt, frost and freezes occurred again early Friday in the middle Ohio Valley and portions of the lower Great Lakes region. However, milder weather prevails from the Mississippi Valley westward, accompanied by rain showers. Early Friday, the heaviest rain is falling in the middle Mississippi Valley.

On the Plains, chilly conditions linger across Montana and the Dakotas. Light snow is falling early Friday in parts of Montana. Farther south, however, mild weather has replaced previously cool conditions. Friday’s high temperatures will reach 80° or higher in portions of western and central Texas.

In the South, frost and scattered freezes were reported Friday morning as far south as the Carolinas and eastern sections of Kentucky and Tennessee, with potential adverse impacts on fruits, heading winter wheat, and emerged summer crops. In Tennessee, 68% of the apples were in full bloom by April 18, while 10% of the winter wheat had headed. Farther west, a few rain showers are overspreading the northern Mississippi Delta and portions of the Tennessee Valley.

In the West, dry weather prevails, aside from some snow showers in the northern Rockies. In the Southwest, dry, breezy conditions and low humidity levels remain conducive to the ignition and spreading of wildfires.

A changing weather pattern will lead to rapid warming across much of the central and eastern U.S. Early next week, temperatures could briefly reach 90° as far north as Kansas, while widespread readings above 80° will extend across the Midwest and mid-Atlantic. Meanwhile in the West, a temporary cooling trend will be accompanied by widespread rain and snow showers. The Western showers will not appreciably change a bleak water-supply outlook in areas hardest hit by drought—but could provide a temporary boost in topsoil moisture. The storm responsible for the Western precipitation will begin to affect the Plains and Midwest early next week. That storm, combined with a weaker system currently crossing the Mississippi Valley, could lead to 5-day rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches or more across the nation’s southeastern quadrant.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- or above-normal temperatures nationwide, with the greatest likelihood of warm weather expected in the middle and northern Atlantic States. Meanwhile, near- or below-normal precipitation along much of the Atlantic Seaboard and most areas from the Pacific Coast to the Plains should contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in western Washington and from the Mississippi Valley to the central and southern Appalachians.

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

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