The 6-10 day temperature outlook
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Across the Corn Belt, cool weather covers the upper Midwest, where temperatures fell below 50° early Tuesday in locations such as Waterloo, Iowa, and Madison, Wisconsin. In contrast, warm, humid weather prevails in the eastern Corn Belt. On August 30, Iowa led the Midwest with topsoil moisture rated 81% very short to short, followed by Nebraska at 70%.

On the Plains, scattered showers are occurring from Nebraska to Texas. Early Tuesday, some of the heaviest rain is falling in Oklahoma. Rain in drought-affected areas of the High Plains is too late for many summer crops but should benefit rangeland and pastures. On August 30, topsoil moisture was rated at least three-quarters very short to short in Colorado (82%), Texas (80%), and Wyoming (76%). Elsewhere, dry weather on the northern Plains favors small grain harvesting.

In the South, thunderstorms are sparking flash flooding early Tuesday in parts of Arkansas, especially in areas soaked just 5 days ago during the passage of Hurricane Laura. Meanwhile, the hurricane recovery zone in southwestern Louisiana and environs is experiencing dry, albeit hot and humid, weather. Elsewhere, a few showers linger in the Atlantic Coast States, while Tropical Depression Fifteen has formed but is passing safely southeast of North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

In the West, lingering showers are mostly limited to the central and southern Rockies. Elsewhere, dry weather accompanies a rapid warming trend. Temperatures have already risen to above-normal levels in much of northern California and parts of the Pacific Northwest. Western rangeland and pastures continue to struggle due to heat and drought; on August 30, Oregon led the nation with 76% of its rangeland and pastures rated in very poor to poor condition.

Variable amounts of rain should fall during the next 5 days across the Midwest, South, and East, with a gradual southward shift in shower activity. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 2 to 6 inches from central Texas into the lower Ohio Valley, while most other areas should receive only light precipitation. Meanwhile, dry weather will prevail across the northern half of the Plains and throughout the West; only a few light showers will occur in the western Corn Belt. Building heat will accompany the Western dryness; record-setting high temperatures should become widespread later in the week. By week’s end, late-summer heat will briefly expand to encompass portions of the High Plains. In contrast, generally cool conditions will dominate the mid-South and Midwest.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures between the Rockies and Appalachians, while warmer-than-normal weather should prevail in the Far West and along the Atlantic Seaboard. Meanwhile, near- or below-normal precipitation in the West should contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in most areas from the Plains to the East Coast.

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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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