The 6-10 day temperature outlook
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Across the Corn Belt, cool but dry weather prevails. In areas where fields are ready for planting, producers are grappling with the decision of whether to plant corn and soybeans, given the deepening spell of below-normal temperatures. The cool weather is also slowing the development of winter wheat, which by April 11 was 3% headed in Illinois and Missouri.

On the Plains, a sprawling storm system is producing a variety of weather conditions. For example, a spring snowstorm is well underway across the central High Plains. On April 15, calendar-day snowfall totaled 4.2 inches in Denver, Colorado, with snow continuing to fall since midnight. Elsewhere, significant drought persists across the northern Plains, despite recent and ongoing snow showers, while beneficial rain showers are occurring across portions of the southern Plains.

In the South, cool weather remains in place, except across southern Texas and peninsular Florida. Frost Advisories were in effect this morning across parts of the interior Southeast, including eastern sections of Kentucky and Tennessee. Meanwhile, locally heavy showers are occurring in the central Gulf Coast region, where flash flooding remains a threat. From April 8-15, precipitation totaled 10 to 12 inches or more in locations such as Gulfport, Mississippi, and New Orleans, Louisiana, with rain continuing to fall.

In the West, snow lingers early Friday across the central Rockies and environs. In contrast, temperatures continue to rise, amid a dry weather pattern, across the Pacific Coast States and the Desert Southwest.

For the remainder of Friday, a mix of rain and snow will fall in the Northeast, while precipitation across the Plains will gradually subside. Meanwhile, rain should linger into the weekend across the central Gulf Coast region, where additional flooding may occur. By Sunday and early next week, the focus for heavy showers should shift to Florida, where totals could reach 2 to 5 inches. Early next week, a strong cold front sweeping across the Plains and Midwest will generate rain and snow showers, trailed by a reinforcing surge of cold air. In the front’s wake, frost and freezes may occur into western Texas and as far southeast as the Ohio Valley, while temperatures could fall to 20° or below across the central High Plains. Elsewhere, warmth will prevail across the Pacific Coast States and the Desert Southwest, while little or no precipitation will fall west of the Rockies.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures in much of the central and eastern U.S., while warmer-than-normal weather will be confined to Florida’s peninsula and the Far West. Meanwhile, near- or below-normal precipitation across most of the country should contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in the South.

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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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