The 6-10 day precipitation outlook
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Across the Corn Belt, blizzard conditions are occurring in parts of the upper Midwest due to wind-driven snow. Some of the harshest conditions, leading to travel disruptions and livestock stress, are occurring in western Iowa, southwestern Minnesota, and easternmost sections of Nebraska and South Dakota. Snow showers and windy conditions are occurring across a broader area of the western Corn Belt, while scattered showers are affecting the eastern Corn Belt.

On the Plains, blustery weather continues. Difficult conditions for travel and livestock exist early Friday across eastern section of the northern Plains due to light snow and high winds. Meanwhile on the High Plains, winds have begun to diminish. On Thursday, wind gusts above 65 mph were common across the northern Plains, where Rapid City, South Dakota reported a northwesterly gust to 80 mph.

In the South, a cold front—accompanied by scattered showers—extends southward from the southern Appalachians to western Florida. In the front’s wake, cool, breezy conditions are overspreading areas from the western Gulf Coast region to the Mississippi Delta.

In the West, dry weather prevails, aside from a few showers along the northern Pacific Coast. Drought continues to expand its footprint from California to the central and southern Rockies, amid an unfavorably dry winter. For the second day in a row, an enhanced wildfire threat exists in southern California due to windy weather and low humidity levels.

Snow will subside later Friday across the upper Midwest, although blowing snow and high winds will linger through Friday. As precipitation shifts eastward, widespread rain showers will develop on Friday in the Atlantic Coast States. Meanwhile, high winds will gradually diminish across the Plains but overspread parts of the South. During the weekend, more tranquil weather will arrive across the country, aside from lingering precipitation (and windy weather) in the Northeast and scattered rain and snow showers from the Pacific Northwest to the northern High Plains. Early next week, snow may develop in the Rockies and neighboring areas. However, dry weather will prevail during the next 5 days in California, the Great Basin, the Desert Southwest, the central and southern High Plains, and an area stretching from the western Gulf Coast region into the lower Mississippi Valley. Dry weather in drought-affected areas from California into the Desert Southwest will be accompanied by unusual warmth.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for likelihood of near- or above-normal temperatures across the eastern half of the U.S., while colder-than-normal conditions will prevail from the Pacific Coast to the High Plains. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation across Florida’s peninsula, New England, and parts of the Pacific Northwest should contrast with wetter-than-normal weather across the remainder of the country.

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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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