5-day precipitation forecast
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Across the Corn Belt, chilly conditions are generally confined to the upper Great Lakes region. Meanwhile, rain is falling along and near the Ohio River, signaling the start of another period of wet weather, even as water levels remain high. Moderate flooding is occurring early Friday along the Ohio River at Shawneetown, Illinois, where the river is more than 10 feet above flood stage. Mild, dry weather covers the remainder of the Midwest.

On the Plains, locally heavy showers and a few thunderstorms have developed early Friday in Kansas. Meanwhile, warmth continues across the southern Plains, where Friday’s high temperatures in the southern two-thirds of Texas should range from 80 to 90°. Elsewhere, tranquil weather prevails on the northern Plains, where any snow that fell on Wednesday has begun to melt.

In the South, warm weather continues to promote spring fieldwork, pasture growth, and winter wheat development. In the Deep South, recently planted crops have begun to emerge. Friday’s high temperatures should reach 80° or higher in many locations from the western Gulf Coast region to the southern Atlantic Coast. Farther north, however, rain has developed across the northern tier of the region, including parts of Kentucky.

In the West, a developing storm system over the drought-stricken Southwest is producing widespread rain and snow showers, especially across Arizona and portions of neighboring states. In advance of the approaching storm, windy weather prevails across the southern Rockies. Elsewhere, dry weather covers the Northwest.

A significant spring snowstorm is imminent across central sections of the Rockies and High Plains. Heavy snow should develop by Friday night and linger through the weekend across much of Colorado and portions of neighboring states, with 2- to 4-foot totals possible in the central Rockies. Windy weather will accompany the storm, resulting in travel disruptions and livestock stress. However, the storm will also provide beneficial moisture for drought-stressed rangeland, pastures, and winter wheat. Farther east, heavy rain (locally 2 to 4 inches) should fall from portions of the central Plains into the lower Ohio Valley. Flash flooding may occur on the Ozark Plateau and environs, while rain will perpetuate lowland flooding in the Ohio Valley. Farther south, potentially powerful thunderstorms will sweep from the southern Plains into the Southeast—the first major, multi-day severe weather outbreak of the season. Early next week, the former powerhouse storm will begin to weaken while crossing the eastern U.S. Meanwhile, a new storm system will arrive along the Pacific Coast, starting Sunday.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of near- or below-normal temperatures nationwide, except for warmer-than-normal weather across Florida’s peninsula and the Far West. Meanwhile, near- or below-normal precipitation across much of the country should contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in the East and Pacific Northwest.

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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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