5-day weather outlook chart
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Across the Corn Belt, slightly cooler air continues to overspread the far upper Midwest. Other areas remain hot with scattered showers, favoring a rapid pace of corn and soybean development.

On the Plains, cooler air is settling across Montana and the Dakotas. Farther south, scattered showers and thunderstorms are providing limited relief from ongoing hot weather. Portions of the central and southern High Plains continue to experience intensifying drought.

In the South, warm, humid weather is promoting crop growth. However, scattered to widespread showers are slowing fieldwork, including early-season winter wheat harvesting.

In the West, hot, dry weather continues to promote fieldwork and crop development. However, the region is also experiencing widespread topsoil moisture shortages, while rangeland, pastures, and rain-fed crops in drought-affected areas are exhibiting stress.

Tropical Depression Cristobal remains inland over Mexico but has begun to drift northward. As the storm center emerges over the Gulf of Mexico, some re-strengthening should occur. Cristobal is forecast to reach the central Gulf Coast of the U.S. as a tropical storm late in the weekend or early next week. In advance of Cristobal’s approach, heavy rain may fall along and near the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida. Many other areas of the country will experience showers and thunderstorms during the next 5 days, with some of the heaviest rain falling from the Pacific Northwest into the upper Midwest. Mostly dry weather will prevail, however, from southern California to the southern Plains. Elsewhere, cooler air will gradually replace hot weather, starting in the North and West.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures in the Midwest, mid-South, mid-Atlantic, and Pacific Northwest, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail in the Rockies, High Plains, and across the Deep South. Meanwhile, below-normal rainfall throughout the nation’s mid-section should contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in the Pacific Northwest and most areas east of the Mississippi River.

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