5-day weather outlook chart
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Across the Corn Belt, cool, breezy, mostly dry weather prevails in the wake of a cold front’s passage. A few snow showers are occurring, however, in the upper Great Lakes region. Soil saturation remains a concern in several areas, particularly across the northern Corn Belt. Snow coverage has receded in recent days and is generally confined to northern corn and soybean production areas, including the Red River Valley of the North.

On the Plains, showers and thunderstorms are occurring across parts of Oklahoma and the northern half of Texas. Cool, dry weather covers the remainder of the nation’s mid-section. Winter wheat across the southern half of the region is breaking dormancy (or developing) in reasonably good shape, although some lingering drought impacts are apparent across parts of the central and southern High Plains.

In the South, rain stretches from the southern Mid-Atlantic region into northeastern Texas. In parts of this area— stretching across the interior South—soils remain saturated and some spring fieldwork delays have been observed. In contrast, unfavorably dry conditions persist across the Deep South, from southern Texas to peninsular Florida.

In the West, locally heavy showers persist across southern California and the Southwest, where the threat of flash flooding continues. Meanwhile, cooler air is settling across the Northwest in advance of an approaching storm system. Elsewhere, unfavorably dry weather prevails across northern California and environs.

An active storm track across the southern U.S. during the next 5 days could result in rainfall totals of 2 to 5 inches or more across the southern Plains and interior South. Locally severe thunderstorms will accompany the Southern rainfall. Meanwhile, a rapidly evolving situation across the northern Plains and Northwest will include the arrival of sharply colder weather and the possibility of significant snowfall, starting today and lasting into the weekend. Accumulating snow may also fall later today in Nebraska and portions of neighboring states. Winter Storm Warnings have been issued across the nation’s northern tier from northeastern Washington to northern Montana, as well as parts of western and central Nebraska. The windy, snowy, cold weather could adversely affect livestock, especially calves and lambs. In parts of Montana, sub-zero temperatures will arrive during the weekend and persist into early next week. Eventually, below-normal temperatures will engulf California and the Southwest. Elsewhere, mostly dry weather will persist during the next 5 days along and near the Gulf Coast.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures along and northwest of a line from Texas to Michigan, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail across the South, East, and lower Midwest. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation across Florida’s peninsula and the Pacific Northwest should contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in all other areas of the country.

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