The 6-10 day precipitation forecast
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Across the Corn Belt, dry weather has returned across the Ohio Valley and lower Great Lakes region, following recent snowfall. On December 1, snow in Ohio totaled 9.5 inches in Cleveland, 7.7 inches in Youngstown, and 1.4 inches in Dayton. On November 29, prior to the snowfall, Ohio’s corn harvest was 92% complete. Cool, dry weather also covers the remainder of the Midwest, although drier conditions in the western Corn Belt favor off-season farm activities.

On the Plains, a winter storm is getting underway across the southern half of the region. Snow in parts of northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas is starting to cause some travel disruptions, although the moisture is benefiting winter wheat. In contrast, mild, dry weather prevails across the northern Plains, which currently have little or no snow coverage.

In the South, a Freeze Warning was in effect early Wednesday across much of southern Georgia and northern Florida. However, freezes did not reach into Florida’s citrus belt. Elsewhere, cool, dry weather favors a return to late-season harvest efforts and other fieldwork, except in areas where fields remain excessively wet. On November 29, more than one-fifth of the cotton remained in the field in Virginia (62% harvested), North Carolina (74%), and South Carolina (77%).

In the West, an elevated to critical wildfire threat continues in parts of southern California, which is experiencing dry weather, low humidity levels, and a significant offshore wind event. On November 29, USDA rated topsoil moisture at least three-quarters very short to short in Colorado (83%), New Mexico (82%), Utah (81%), and California (75%).

Lingering Northeastern snow showers will end later Wednesday. Subsequently, the focus for stormy weather will shift to the nation’s mid-section. Accumulating snow will develop Wednesday across portions of the southern Plains, mainly in southern Kansas, northern Oklahoma, and the northern panhandle of Texas. Snowfall could total 6 inches or more in northwestern Oklahoma and environs. Meanwhile, showers and thunderstorms will develop in the western Gulf Coast region and spread eastward, reaching the Southeast by Friday. By week’s end, heavy rain (1 to 2 inches or more) may spread northward along the Atlantic Coast. During the weekend, there is the potential for heavy, wet snow in the central Appalachians and interior Northeast. Most of the remainder of the country, including the West, northern Plains, and upper Midwest, will remain dry during the next 5 days. In southern California, a sustained period of offshore winds will maintain the wildfire threat. Chilly conditions will persist across the Midwest and East, but temperatures will rebound to above-normal levels across the Plains.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of near- or above-normal temperatures across the country, except for colder-than-normal conditions in the Southeastern and middle Atlantic States. Meanwhile, near- or below-normal precipitation nearly nationwide should contrast with wetter-than-normal weather across portions of the northern 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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