The 6-10 day temperature outlook
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Across the Corn Belt, snow showers linger downwind of the Great Lakes, especially across Michigan. Current snow depths, following recent storms, include 6 inches in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, and 4 inches in Traverse City, Michigan. Late-season corn and soybean harvest efforts remain difficult due to snow cover in the northern Corn Belt and pockets of excessive wetness in the southern Corn Belt.

On the Plains, mild, dry, breezy weather continues to erode a previously expansive snow cover across the northern half of the region. Field conditions across the northern Plains are still not conducive to late-season harvest efforts for crops such as corn, soybeans, and sunflowers. Farther south, pockets of drought from Texas to Kansas and southeastern Colorado are adversely affecting some rangeland, pastures, and winter grains. On December 1 in Texas, 29% of the winter wheat and 45% of the rangeland and pastures were rated in very poor to poor condition.

In the South, dry weather is promoting late-autumn fieldwork, including cotton and soybean harvesting. Chilly weather lingers in the Southeast, but warmth has returned across the western Gulf Coast region.

In the West, impressive precipitation—including high-elevation snow—is returning across California. Flooding is possible in southern California, especially on hillsides that recently burned. Farther north, dense fog and air-stagnation issues have developed in parts of the interior Northwest, particularly in southeastern Oregon and southwestern Idaho.

A Pacific storm system will move inland later Wednesday across southern California, delivering heavy showers and high-elevation snow. Precipitation will affect the Great Basin and Southwest later Wednesday into Thursday. Although the storm will later weaken, rain showers will affect the Southeast toward week’s end. Meanwhile, precipitation associated with a new storm will arrive in the Pacific Coast States on Friday, with rain, snow, and wind spreading farther inland across the West during the weekend. Farther east, a series of weak cold fronts will cross the Great Lakes and Northeastern States. By Sunday, however, sharply colder air will arrive across the northern Plains, preceded and accompanied by snow.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of near- or below-normal temperatures across the Intermountain West and in most areas between the Rockies and Appalachians. Warmer-than-normal weather will be limited to the Pacific Coast States, southern Texas, and areas along and near the Atlantic Seaboard. Meanwhile, wetter-than-normal weather across most of the country should contrast with below-normal precipitation in northern and central California and environs.

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