5-day rainfall forecast
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Across the Corn Belt, mild air has replaced previously cool conditions. However, showers and thunderstorms accompany the warmer weather, especially from the Great Lakes region into the lower Missouri Valley. The onset of wet weather has slowed the pace of corn and soybean planting, which nationally was 67 and 38% complete, respectively, on May 10. Midwestern producers continue to monitor and assess the impact of recent freezes on emerged corn and soybeans, as well as soft red winter wheat and a variety of fruit crops.

On the Plains, cool conditions linger across northern areas, where crop development has been slowed by persistently below-normal temperatures. Only 24% of the U.S. barley and 16% of the spring wheat had emerged by May 10, compared to respective averages of 37 and 29%. Meanwhile, drier air is overspreading the southern High Plains, following last night’s thunderstorms.

In the South, near- or above-normal temperatures have returned in advance of an approaching cold front. Dry weather across much of the region favors fieldwork, though a few showers are occurring west of the Mississippi Delta and from Kentucky to Virginia. In addition, steady rain is falling across the southern tip of Florida.

In the West, widely scattered showers are locally boosting topsoil moisture across the northern half of the region. Meanwhile, generally cool, dry weather favors fieldwork in southern California and the Southwest.

Mild, showery weather will prevail during the next few days across much of the central and eastern U.S., followed by the return of below-normal temperatures late in the weekend and early next week. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 2 to 4 inches or more from the western Gulf Coast region into the southern and eastern Corn Belt, lower Great Lakes region, and Northeast. Meanwhile, a disturbance near the southern tip of Florida will drift northeastward and may become a subtropical storm north of the Bahamas. Immediate U.S. impacts should be limited to rain in southern Florida and possible gusty winds and heavy surf along the southern Atlantic Coast. Farther west, a winter-like Pacific storm system should arrive during the weekend across the Northwest, accompanied by cool, wet, breezy weather. In contrast, dry weather will prevail during the next 5 days from southern California to the southern Rockies.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of near- or above-normal temperatures throughout the central and eastern U.S., while cooler-than-normal conditions will cover the Far West. Meanwhile, near- or above-normal precipitation across much of the western and central U.S. should contrast with drier-than-normal weather in the Four Corners region and from the middle Mississippi Valley and the mid-South to the Atlantic Seaboard.

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