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Across the Corn Belt, a cold front stretching southwestward from the lower Great Lakes region is sparking scattered showers. However, temperatures in the front’s wake remain at near- or above-normal levels, helping late-planted corn and soybeans move closer to maturity.

On the Plains, a few showers along the tail of a weak cold front are affecting northern and western Texas. Dry weather covers the remainder of the region, although lingering wet conditions across the northern Plains remain an impediment to completing spring wheat harvesting.

In addition, record-setting September rainfall across parts of the northern Plains has resulted in quality degradations for some small grains that remain in the field.

In the South, rapidly developing drought continues to promote autumn fieldwork. However, topsoil moisture depletion remains a concern with respect to pastures and immature summer crops.

In contrast, flood recovery efforts continue in southeastern Texas, especially where Tropical Storm Imelda dumped at least 1 to 3 feet of rain last week. Currently, an approaching cold front is producing scattered showers from Kentucky to Arkansas.

In the West, beneficial showers are developing across parts of Arizona, following an abysmally dry monsoon season. Meanwhile, an elevated threat of wildfires exists in parts of California due to dry, breezy conditions.

During the next several days, much of the country will continue to experience above-normal temperatures. However, a cooler pattern will become established across the North. Late in the week, cool air will further expand to include much of the West, while late-season heat will persist across the South.

Meanwhile, 5-day rainfall totals could reach 1 to 3 inches across the upper Midwest and environs, mainly due to late-week showers. Similar totals (locally 1 to 2 inches) can be expected in the northernmost Rockies, Pacific Northwest, Southwest and northern New England, but mostly dry weather will prevail in California and the Southeast. In the Caribbean, Tropical Storm Karin could deliver heavy rain and gusty winds to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, starting on Tuesday.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of above-normal temperatures along and east of a line from New Mexico to Minnesota, while cooler-than-normal conditions will cover the northern High Plains and the West. Meanwhile, above-normal precipitation across the West, as well as the Rio Grande Valley, northern Plains, and upper Midwest, will contrast with drier-than-normal weather in the mid-South, Ohio Valley and the East.

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