The 6-10 day rainfall forecast
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Across the Corn Belt, dry weather continues. In addition, warm weather is replacing previously cool conditions, especially across the northern Corn Belt. As topsoil moisture continues to diminish, producers are monitoring corn for signs of stress. Earlier-planted corn (mainly in the western Corn Belt) is closer to entering reproduction, while later-planted corn (mostly in the eastern Corn Belt) may be more susceptible to issues related to soil crusting and compaction.

On the Plains, cool air continues to spread across Montana, accompanied by widespread showers. In fact, snow is falling early Wednesday in southwestern Montana, mainly at elevations above 6,000 feet. Farther south and east, however, a final day of hot weather prevails in advance of a strong cold front, maintaining stress on rangeland, pastures, and rain-fed summer crops. Borger, Texas, has reported a high temperature of 97°F or greater each of the last 6 days, from June 11-16.

In the South, a non-tropical low-pressure system has moved inland across eastern North Carolina. Mid-Atlantic showers have become less widespread but continue to fall heavily in a few locations. Elsewhere, dry weather and below-normal temperatures remain generally favorable for growth of summer crops, as well as winter wheat maturation and harvesting.

In the West, cool, unsettled weather lingers across the northern Rockies, where snow is blanketing some higher-elevation sites. Cool, dry weather covers the remainder of the West, except for the return of above-normal temperatures along the northern Pacific Coast. On June 14, New Mexico led the nation with topsoil moisture rated 80% very short to short, according to USDA/NASS, followed by Colorado at 75%.

Mid-Atlantic showers will become less numerous as a low-pressure system begins to weaken and move away. Still, additional rainfall could total 1 to 2 inches in Virginia and portions of neighboring states. Parts of Florida’s peninsula may also experience heavy showers. Meanwhile, a slow-moving cold front will move eastward across the Plains and Midwest, preceded by showers and locally severe thunderstorms. Five-day totals could reach 1 to 3 inches, with locally higher amounts, from the southern Plains into the upper Midwest. Most of the remainder of the country, including New England, the Pacific Coast States, the Great Basin, the Southwest, and much of the Southeast, will remain dry during the next 5 days. Elsewhere, warmth will continue to build across the Great Lakes and Northeastern States, while cooler weather will prevail for several days on the Plains.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures from the eastern Plains into the Mississippi Valley, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail in the East and from the Pacific Coast to the High Plains. Meanwhile, near- or above-normal rainfall across much of the country should contrast with drier-than-normal conditions across Florida’s peninsula and from the Pacific Northwest into the far upper Midwest.

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