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In the Corn Belt, showers and thunderstorms are soaking the upper Midwest.

Meanwhile, late-season warmth across the southern and eastern Corn Belt is helping to push Midwestern corn and soybeans toward maturity. Only 11% of the U.S. corn crop was fully mature by September 8, the slowest crop development pace since 2013 (9% mature on that date).

On the Plains, cool, rainy weather is disrupting spring wheat harvesting and other fieldwork across Montana and the Dakotas. The U.S. spring wheat harvest was 71% complete by September 8, with progress ranging from 62% in Montana to 91% in South Dakota. Meanwhile, hot, dry weather on the southern Plains is maintaining concerns about topsoil moisture depletion as the winter wheat planting season gets underway.

In the South, late-season heat favors summer crop maturation and harvesting. Louisiana led the nation with 81% of its rice harvested by September 8, while the state’s cotton harvest was just getting underway—1% complete on that date. Texas led the U.S. on September 8 with 13% of its cotton harvested.

Early Wednesday, widely scattered showers are most heavily concentrated in the western Gulf Coast region, leading to minor rice and cotton harvest delays.

In the West, cool weather has replaced previously hot conditions. In addition, showers are affecting portions of the northern Rockies and Intermountain West. Despite the cooler weather, several dozen wildfires are burning across the West; the largest active blaze is the 47,000-acre Walker Fire in northern California.

Heavy rain will gradually shift eastward across the North, reaching the lower Great Lakes region by Friday. Additional rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches or more can be expected across the north-central U.S. Occasional showers will develop during the second half of the week in other areas, including parts of the East, Pacific Northwest, and southern Plains.

Locally heavy showers will lurk along and near the Gulf Coast, while Florida’s peninsula may receive heavy rain. By week’s end, summerlike warmth will cover much of the country. During the weekend, however, cool air will overspread the Pacific Northwest. 

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of above-normal temperatures across the central and eastern U.S., while cooler-than-normal conditions will prevail in the West. Meanwhile, near- or above-normal rainfall across most of the country should contrast with drier-than-normal weather in the middle and northern Atlantic states.

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