5-day weather outlook chart
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Across the Corn Belt, generally tranquil weather prevails between storm systems, although locally dense fog blankets the middle Mississippi Valley and environs early Wednesday. Rain ended overnight across the eastern Corn Belt as one system moves toward the Atlantic Coast, while some light precipitation (rain and wet snow) is overspreading the upper Midwest in conjunction with a disturbance approaching from the Plains.

On the Plains, warm, windy weather has developed across the southern half of the region. Wednesday’s high temperatures should reach 80° as far north as southeastern Colorado and southwestern Kansas. The High Plains’ warmth, accompanied by wind and low humidity levels, will lead to an elevated risk of grassfires. In contrast, cool, breezy weather covers the northern Plains, along with patches of light rain and wet snow.

In the South, significant rain fell overnight and continues early Wednesday in the southern Mid-Atlantic States. Heavy rain recently ended in the southern Appalachians. Farther south, however, very dry conditions have developed in Florida and along the Gulf Coast. On March 22, topsoil moisture in Florida was 51% very short to short, up from 38% a week earlier.

In the West, widely scattered rain and snow showers dot the northwestern half of the region. Below-normal temperatures accompany the unsettled weather. In contrast, warm, dry, breezy weather prevails in the southern Rockies.

For the remainder of Wednesday, rain in the East will be heaviest in the middle Atlantic coastal plain. Meanwhile, some rain and wet snow will fall through mid-week from the northern Plains into the upper Great Lakes region, followed by a spell of tranquil weather. In the West, showers will gradually diminish during the second half of the week. By late Friday, a significant spring storm system will begin to intensify across the central Plains. The storm should reach the northern Atlantic Coast on Monday. As a result, late-week and weekend precipitation could total 1 to 3 inches across large sections of the Midwest and Northeast. Accumulating snow may occur from the central High Plains (e.g. northeastern Colorado) into parts of the upper Great Lakes region, as well as northern New England. In contrast, mostly dry weather should prevail during the next 5 days across the southern High Plains and the southern Atlantic region, including Florida.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of near- or above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions in the Pacific Northwest. Meanwhile, near- or below-normal precipitation across a broad swath of the country, stretching from California to the middle and northern Atlantic States, should contrast with wetter-than-normal weather from the Pacific Northwest to the northern High Plains and from southern and eastern Texas to the southern Atlantic Coast.

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