5-day rainfall forecast
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Across Corn Belt, frost and freezes occurred Monday morning across large sections of Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan, as well as portions of neighboring states. Despite the chilly weather, Midwestern conditions remain mostly favorable for corn and soybean maturation and harvesting. Currently, mild air is replacing previously cool conditions in the western Corn Belt. On the Plains, mild, breezy weather is developing in advance of a weak cold front. Dry weather continues to promote summer crop maturation and harvesting, as well as winter wheat planting. In many areas of the High Plains, however, moisture is limited for winter wheat germination and establishment. In the South, a plume of moisture that includes Tropical Storm Gamma is contributing to showery weather across Florida’s peninsula. Gamma, currently located just north of the Yucatan Peninsula, is being disrupted by shear, or strong upper-level winds, which is keeping most of the storm’s heavy rain displaced well to the northeast of its center. Aside from Florida’s wet weather, cool, dry Southern conditions favor summer crop maturation and harvesting. In the West, dry weather persists, as drought continues to worsen amid record-setting high temperatures. On October 4, daily-record highs included 105° in Phoenix, Arizona, 100° in Lancaster, California; and 83° in Wenatchee, Washington. Phoenix has recorded a high temperature of 100° or greater on 22 consecutive days, starting September 13. Warmth will continue to spread eastward, reaching into areas of the South, East, and lower Midwest that have been experiencing cool weather. Late in the week, however, a new surge of cool air will affect parts of the Midwest and Northeast. Meanwhile, unusual warmth will persist in much of the West, with record-setting high temperatures extending as far east as the Plains. By week’s end, cooler air will finally arrive along the Pacific Coast, signaling a pattern change. During the next 5 days, most of the country will remain dry. By Friday, however, much-needed precipitation may begin to spread inland across northern California and the Pacific Northwest. Elsewhere, a few showers may graze the Great Lakes and Northeastern States, while the tropics will remain active. While Tropical Storm Gamma does not pose a significant threat to the United States, a trailing system (Tropical Depression Twenty-Six) should have the opportunity to strengthen and could reach the U.S. Gulf Coast as a hurricane by Friday. Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for warmer-than-normal weather nationwide, except for near- or below-normal temperatures in northern and central California, the Great Basin, and the Northwest. Meanwhile, wetter-than-normal conditions in the Southeast and Northwest should contrast with near- or below-normal precipitation across the remainder of the country. The greatest likelihood of drier-than-normal weather will cover New England and central and southern sections of the Rockies and 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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