The 6-10 day temperature outlook
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Across the Corn Belt, cool weather prevails, with widespread temperatures below 40° reported Wednesday morning. Wednesday’s low temperatures included 32° in Madison, Wisconsin; 33°F in Grand Forks, North Dakota; and 34° in Flint, Michigan. Although substantial corn and soybeans have been planted in parts of the western and central Corn Belt, emergence continues to occur at a sluggish pace due to chilly conditions.

On the Plains, freezes occurred early Wednesday in an area broadly centered on eastern Wyoming and western sections of Nebraska and South Dakota. In fact, below-normal temperatures throughout the Plains are slowing crop emergence and development, although dry weather is promoting fieldwork. However, drought across portions of the central and southern Plains has left topsoil moisture rated 60% very short to short in Texas, along with 49% in Colorado and 39% in Kansas.

In the South, rain showers stretch from the coastal Carolinas to southern Texas. Warmth lingers across Florida’s peninsula, but below-normal temperatures cover the remainder of the South. Despite the cool conditions, drier weather across the Mississippi Delta and environs favors an acceleration of fieldwork previously delayed by excessive wetness.

In the West, cool, showery weather is overspreading the Pacific Northwest. Meanwhile, very warm, dry weather continues to favor fieldwork and crop development in California and the Southwest. An early-season heatwave persists in lower elevations of the Desert Southwest, where Wednesday’s high temperatures could approach 110°.

Unusually cool weather will continue to dominate areas east of the Rockies into next week. The late-season cool spell should peak in most areas during the weekend, when widespread freezes can be expected from the northern Plains into the Northeast, as well as large sections of the Midwest, Appalachians, and Ohio Valley. Frost and freezes may threaten summer crops, including corn and soybeans, although slow emergence and development should help to limit susceptibility to freeze injury. In addition, some fruit crops and ornamentals may face a significant freeze threat. In the Great Lakes and Northeastern States, the coldest air will be drawn southward in the wake of a late-week storm, which could produce 1- to 2- inch rainfall totals in parts of the Northwest, northern parts of the Rockies and Plains, the mid-South, and the Ohio Valley. Heavier rain, 2 inches or more, may fall late in the week from Deep South Texas to southern Florida. In contrast, little or no precipitation will occur during the next 5 days across the upper Great Lakes region and from California to the central and southern High Plains.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for below-normal temperatures in most areas from the Plains to the East Coast, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail in the Northwest, Great Basin, Four Corners States, and western Texas. Meanwhile, below-normal rainfall across much of the South and East, as well as the north-central U.S., should contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in the Rockies, Pacific Coast States, and peninsular Florida.

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