The 6-10 day precipitation forecast
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Across the Corn Belt, showers in the vicinity of a cold front are occurring across the Ohio Valley and lower Great Lakes region. The rain is slowing fieldwork but providing much-needed moisture for recently planted winter wheat. Chilly, breezy conditions—accompanied by rain and snow showers—prevail in the wake of the front’s passage. On the Plains, a cold weather pattern is in place from Nebraska into Montana and the Dakotas, where Monday morning’s minimum temperatures locally fell below 20°. In addition, patchy, light snow is falling. The northern Plains’ cold weather is limiting winter wheat emergence and growth, but snow is providing a beneficial boost in topsoil moisture. Meanwhile, warmth is starting to return across the drought-affected southern High Plains, where dry conditions persist. In the South, showers are mostly confined to southern Florida and the northwestern fringe of the region (e.g. northern sections of Arkansas and Kentucky). Elsewhere, mild, dry weather favors fieldwork, including winter wheat planting and harvesting of summer crops such as cotton, peanuts, and soybeans. However, pockets of excessive wetness linger in the wake of recent tropical activity. In the West, cool weather and scattered rain and snow showers stretch from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies. In contrast, very warm, dry weather prevails from California to the central and southern Rockies. Several wildfires are burning in the central Rockies; the Cameron Peak Fire, west of Fort Collins, Colorado, has become the largest wildfire in modern state history, with more than 203,000 acres of vegetation scorched. A cold weather regime across the Northwest, northern Plains, and upper Midwest will further deepen as the week progresses. In fact, temperatures near or below 0° may occur toward week’s end across northern sections of the Rockies and High Plains. Periods of precipitation, including widespread snow, will accompany the cold outbreak. In contrast, dry weather will prevail during the next 5 days from California to the southern half of the High Plains. Much of that region will experience unusually warm weather, but colder air will drive southward late in the week across the Plains. Meanwhile, warm weather will prevail for much of the week in the Southeast and along the Atlantic Coast. Five-day rainfall totals may reach 1 to 2 inches in the Midwest, while locally heavy showers across southern Florida may edge northward later in the week. Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures across the Plains, West, and upper Midwest, while warmer-than-normal weather will be confined to the South and parts of the East. Meanwhile, near- or above-normal precipitation will occur nearly nationwide; drier-than-normal conditions should be limited to southern sections of the Rockies and High Plains.

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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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