5-day precipitation forecast
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Across the Corn Belt, rain is overspreading areas from the Mississippi Valley westward. Meanwhile, mild, dry weather prevails in the eastern Corn Belt, where Tuesday’s high temperatures could reach or exceed 70°.

On the Plains, a storm system crossing Kansas is producing chilly rain across a broad area. The rain is generally benefiting rangeland, pastures, and winter wheat, although flash flooding is occurring in a few areas across the central Plains. Elsewhere, cool, breezy conditions cover the southern Plains, while unfavorably dry weather persists across much of the northern Plains. Among reporting states on the Plains, Texas is experiencing the lowest winter wheat condition— 29% very poor to poor and 29% good to excellent on March 22, according to USDA/NASS.

In the South, showers and thunderstorms are sweeping across the lower Mississippi Valley. Meanwhile, dry weather favors spring fieldwork in the Atlantic Coast States. Dry conditions have developed, however, across parts of Florida’s peninsula; on March 22, statewide topsoil moisture in Florida was rated 40% very short to short.

In the West, a Pacific storm system has moved inland and is producing rain and snow showers across the Great Basin, Intermountain West, and Southwest. High winds have developed across portions of California and the Great Basin.

A storm system currently crossing the central Plains will reach the upper Great Lakes region late Wednesday. A trailing storm will produce snow in the southern Rockies through mid-week and traverse the lower Great Lakes States by early Friday. Total rainfall from the two storms could reach 1 to 2 inches in the Midwest. Much higher totals should occur from the lower Mississippi Valley to the western slopes of the southern Appalachians, where 5-day rainfall could reach 2 to 6 inches or more. The heavy Southern rain may be accompanied by severe thunderstorms. Elsewhere, scattered to widespread rain and snow showers in the West should end late in the week, while the northern Plains and Florida’s peninsula will continue to experience mostly dry weather.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- or above-normal temperatures and near- or below-normal precipitation across most of the country. Warm, dry conditions will be most likely from northern California to the northern Plains. In contrast, wetter-than-normal weather should prevail from the lower Great Lakes region into the middle and northern Atlantic States.

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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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