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Corn Belt wet, Plains dry
Further improvement in the long-term drought situation was seen in Illinois and nearby areas over the past 24 hours as widespread significant rain was recorded. Most totals there were on the order of 0.50-1.00", but one could find localized areas where rains were over 1 inch. Rains of over 1 inch were more common over the past 24 hours in the northern Delta, where strong and severe storms were fairly common.
Another area seeing some improvement in long-term drought yesterday was eastern parts of the northern Plains, where 0.50-1.00" totals were quite common. But several small stations in northeast North Dakota near the Canadian border are reporting amounts of over 1 inch (one spot even had over 2 inches). The area totally missing on rains yesterday was the hard-red winter wheat belt, where rain remains badly needed to get wheat germinated, especially in northwest Kansas, west Nebraska, and northeast Colorado.
Rainfall chances will remain poor probably right through the next 10 days for the bulk of the hard-red winter wheat belt. Meanwhile, additional rains will fall today in eastern parts of the northern Plains and across much of the western Corn Belt, then all of the nation's midsection is dry for the weekend. North and northwest parts of the Corn Belt, the northern Plains, and points westward are the favored areas for above-normal precipitation in the 6- to 10-day period.
Temperatures across much of the middle of the country are going to be cool for today and tomorrow (40s for highs in significant parts of the Midwest, for example), but will be warming nicely for the weekend and for a lot of next week.
About anyone in the Corn Belt will have highs in the 70s and 80s for Monday and Tuesday, and more of the same is expected for the rest of the workweek for the southern Plains, southeastern Corn Belt, Delta, and Southeast. Looming after that, though, is an abrupt change to colder weather, probably first felt in the central/northern Plains and western Midwest on October 27 and spreading east and south from there.
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