5-day rainfall forecast
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Across the Corn Belt, a low-pressure system (and its attendant cold front) is producing showers and thunderstorms from the Great Lakes region southward into the Ohio Valley. Rain is benefiting corn and soybeans in areas of the eastern Corn Belt that had turned dry in recent weeks. On June 21, prior to the current rain event, topsoil moisture was rated 54% very short to short in Indiana, along with 47% in Ohio and 40% in Michigan.

On the Plains, widespread, locally severe thunderstorms are occurring early Tuesday in parts of Oklahoma and Texas. Prior to the southern Plains’ recent increase in rainfall, crop conditions had sharply dropped. For example, 40% of the Texas cotton crop was rated in very poor to poor condition on June 21, compared to 17% just 2 weeks ago. Meanwhile, dry weather has returned across the northern and central Plains.

In the South, mild, showery weather is providing generally favorable conditions for summer crop development. However, showers are locally slowing fieldwork, including hay-cutting operations and winter wheat harvesting.

In the West, a Heat Advisory is in effect throughout California’s Central Valley for the remainder of the week. Tuesday’s temperatures will again approach or reach 110° in the northern Sacramento Valley of California, where Redding noted a daily record-tying high of 109° on Monday. Dry weather and near- or above-normal temperatures favor fieldwork and crop development across much of the remainder of the West. However, dryness is also stressing some rangeland and pastures, which on June 21 were rated 59% very poor to poor in New Mexico, along with 55% in California.

During the next several days, hot, dry weather will persist in most areas west of the Rockies. Late in the week, however, markedly cooler air will overspread the Northwest. Farther east, a low-pressure system currently crossing the Great Lakes region will move into eastern Canada, but showers along a trailing cold front will continue through the rest of Tuesday in the East and linger into Thursday across the South. Late in the week, a new cold front will traverse the northern Plains, Midwest, and Northeast, generating scattered to widespread showers and thunderstorms. Five-day rainfall totals could total 1 to 2 inches or more in the western and central Gulf Coast States, as well as parts of the Midwest and Northeast.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of above-normal temperatures in most areas from the Plains eastward, while cooler-than-normal conditions will cover the West. Meanwhile, near- or above-normal rainfall across most of the country should contrast with drier-than-normal weather in northern New England, parts of Florida, and southern sections of the Rockies and High Plains.

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