Saturday's weather map
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Across the Corn Belt, temperatures range from near-normal levels in the Great Lakes region to significantly above-normal values in the Ohio Valley. The region lies between storms, but rain showers are developing mainly across the southern Corn Belt. Many Midwestern rivers are running high in the wake of recent heavy precipitation; for example, moderate flooding is occurring on the Mississippi River between New Boston, Illinois, and Burlington, Iowa.

On the Plains, early-season heat continues across the southern sections of the region. On Thursday, high temperatures rose above 90º as far north as western Oklahoma. Windy, dry conditions accompany the hot weather, maintaining an elevated threat of wildfires. Farther north, an intensifying low-pressure system is traversing the central Plains. Patchy rain and snow showers are developing north of the storm system.

In the South, summer-like warmth prevails. On Thursday, McAllen, Texas, reported a high temperature of 100º, while Fort Myers, Florida, reached 93º. A few showers are grazing the northern tier of the region, including parts of Kentucky and Tennessee, but drought continues to develop or intensify along the immediate Gulf Coast and across Florida.

In the West, lingering warmth in the southern Rockies contrasts with below-normal temperatures across the remainder of the region. Isolated rain and snow showers accompany a transition to cooler conditions in the Four Corners region. Generally light precipitation is also spreading inland across the Pacific Northwest.

The storm system currently over the central Plains will move northeastward, crossing New England on Monday. Storm-total precipitation could reach 1 to 2 inches or more across much of the Midwest and Northeast. Northwest of the storm’s path, some wet snow may fall from southeastern Wyoming to northern New England. Meanwhile, parts of the South and lower Midwest may experience locally severe thunderstorms, while dry, windy weather will maintain the threat of grassfires across the southern High Plains. By early next week, two new storms will begin to affect the country. One system will deliver rain across the central and southern Plains and the interior Southeast, while the other will produce rain and snow in the Northwest. Florida, however, will remain mostly dry during the next 5 days.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures across much of the eastern half of the U.S., while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail in Florida, New England, along the immediate Gulf Coast, and from California to the central and southern High Plains. Meanwhile, near- or below-normal precipitation across most of the country should contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in the Red River Valley of the North; southern sections of the Rockies and High Plains; and along the Atlantic Seaboard.

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