5-day rainfall forecast
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Across the Corn Belt, dry weather accompanies a warming trend across Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio, where topsoil moisture shortages have begun to stress some corn and soybeans. Meanwhile, showers and thunderstorms are generally benefiting crops in the western and central Corn Belt, although localized wind damage is occurring in stronger storms.

On the Plains, widely scattered showers are occurring early Friday from South Dakota to Kansas. Due to net drying across the Plains in recent weeks, topsoil moisture rated very short to short (on June 21) ranged from 17% in South Dakota to 74% in Colorado. The reductions in topsoil moisture have favored winter wheat maturation and harvesting—but have resulted in varying degrees of stress on rangeland, pastures, and rain-fed summer crops.

In the South, wet weather continues from the Texas coast into the lower Mississippi Valley. Meanwhile, unusually hot weather is limited to the southern Atlantic region, mainly across Florida’s peninsula. Throughout the region, generally adequate soil moisture reserves favor summer crop development. Many crops are entering reproduction, with 26% of North Carolina’s corn silking on June 21.

In the West, very warm, mostly dry conditions persist. A Heat Advisory remains in effect in California’s Central Valley and environs. In parts of the Southwest, an elevated threat of wildfires exists due to breezy, dry conditions and the possibility of mainly afternoon and evening lightning strikes.

A Western hot spell will abruptly end during the weekend. Meanwhile, near- or above-normal temperatures will develop or continue across much of the central and eastern U.S. Relative to normal, the warmest weather will affect the Great Lakes region. In addition, temperatures by early next week will routinely approach, reach, or exceed the 100-degree mark across drought-affected sections of the central and southern High Plains. During the next couple of days, a cold front will spark widespread showers and thunderstorms across the Midwest. Subsequently, another cold front will produce heavy precipitation across northern sections of the Rockies and Plains. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 1 to 3 inches or more in several areas, including the Midwest, the interior Southeast, and an area stretching from the northern Rockies to the Dakotas. In contrast, dry weather will prevail during the next 5 days from California to the Four Corners region.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10- day outlook calls for the likelihood of near- or above-normal temperatures in coastal California and from the Plains to the East Coast, while cooler-than-normal conditions will prevail in much of the West. Meanwhile, near- or above-normal rainfall across the majority of the country should contrast with drier-than-normal weather in a few areas, including southern Texas, parts of the Southwest, and an area stretching from the Great Lakes region into the Northeast.

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