The 6-10 day precipitation outlook
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Across the Corn Belt, windy weather prevails east of the Mississippi River, especially in Ohio, in the wake of a departing storm system. Meanwhile, precipitation persists across Michigan but has ended in other areas of the Midwest. Some of Michigan’s precipitation has begun to change to snow or freezing rain.

On the Plains, isolated rain showers are occurring in Kansas and portions of neighboring states. March precipitation has significantly boosted moisture reserves across the central Plains, improving prospects for winter wheat and conditioning soils in advance of spring planting. It has already become the wettest March on record in locations such as Grand Island, Nebraska, and Goodland, Kansas, eclipsing marks established in 1987 and 1981, respectively.

In the South, recovery efforts are underway in areas struck by yesterday’s severe thunderstorm outbreak. More than a dozen tornadoes were spotted on Thursday from east-central Mississippi into northwestern Georgia, including a deadly storm in Calhoun County, Alabama. Early Friday, thunderstorms have weakened but linger across parts of the Southeast. In contrast, dryness continues to intensify across southern Texas and peninsular Florida.

In the West, a disturbance crossing the Intermountain region is producing scattered, generally light rain and snow showers. Despite recent precipitation, drought still covers nearly two-thirds (74.5%) of the 11-state Western region, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, down slightly from 79.9% in early March. In Arizona, 88% of the rangeland and pastures were rated in very poor to poor condition on March 21, according to USDA/NASS.

A storm system currently crossing the Great Lakes States will move eastward across northern New England later Friday. During the weekend, a new storm will develop over the south-central U.S. and follow a similar path, reaching the lower Great Lakes region on Sunday. That system could produce 1 to 3 inches of rain, as well as another round of locally severe thunderstorms and isolated tornadoes, across the interior Southeast. Other areas in the eastern half of the U.S. will receive weekend showers. Early next week, a Pacific storm system will move inland near the U.S.-Canadian border. Although parts of the northern U.S. will experience colder, windy weather and scattered rain and snow showers, significant impacts should be limited to southern Canada.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of above-normal temperatures across much of the northern and western U.S., while cooler-than-normal conditions will stretch from the southern Plains into the Southeast, excluding southern Florida. Meanwhile, near- or below-normal precipitation across most of the country should contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in New England and southern sections of Florida and Texas.

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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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