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Across the Corn Belt, a wetter pattern is becoming established, following a brief period of dry weather that allowed some corn and soybean planting to take place in drier and better-drained areas. Currently, showers and thunderstorms stretch from the Dakotas to Ohio. In addition, much cooler air is overspreading the northern Corn Belt.

On the Plains, warm, dry weather lingers across the southern half of the region. In contrast, cool, showery weather has developed on the northern Plains, curtailing spring wheat planting and other fieldwork, and slowing the emergence and growth of spring-sown crops.

In the South, warm, dry weather in most areas continues to promote a rapid pace of fieldwork and crop development. However, some fieldwork disruptions persist in the Mississippi Delta and environs due to soggy sols and flooded lowlands. Early Friday, scattered showers are generally limited to the southern Appalachians.

In the West, chilly weather is slowing crop development. In addition, a winter-like storm continues to produce widespread rain and high-elevation snow showers in northern California and the Northwest.

A low-pressure system over the central High Plains will drift northeastward, reaching the Great Lakes region by Sunday. A new storm system will arrive in the West during the weekend and intensify across the central Plains early next week. The active pattern will result in a multi-day severe weather outbreak across portions of the Plains, mid-South, and Midwest. In addition, 5-day rainfall totals of 2 to 5 inches or more from the southern Plains into the upper Midwest could lead to extensive flooding, especially in the western Corn Belt. Elsewhere, warm, mostly dry weather will prevail during the next 5 days in the southern Atlantic region, while cool, showery conditions will cover the northern two-thirds of the western U.S.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of above-normal temperatures from the southern half of the Plains to the middle and southern Atlantic States, while cooler-than-normal conditions will prevail in the West and across the nation’s northern tier. Meanwhile, below-normal rainfall in the Southeast will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in much of the Plains, West, and Midwest.

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