Holy Mackerel, what a welcome change we've seen in our weather. A switch in the winds has brought cooler drier air to the Midwest and made it possible to enjoy the great outdoors once again. Look at the drop in the dew point (what we use to measure moisture). Wednesday at 6:00 PM it was a rain forest level of 80 but by mid-morning Thursday it had dropped to a seasonal level of 64. Huge improvement.
You can also observe the change by looking at PWAT levels (precipitable water vapor). Wednesday evening levels were over 2" in my area.
By Saturday morning PWAT values are forecast to be down around 1/2", more than 4 times less.
The thunderstorms that peppered the region for 4 days have also gone away leaving rainfall totals that look like this.
Most of my area ended up getting 1-2" totals out of this ring of fire episode. However, there were spots with more. You can see a bullseye in northeast Iowa over of Clayton County where more than 9" fell...much of that in 4 hours time. The north side of Chicago and SE Wisconsin was also soaked.
The next couple days look to remain tolerable as the high pressure dome remains displaced further southwest. While I think the numbers yous see are 3-5 degrees to cool, here's what the GFS has for highs on Friday. More like September than mid-July.
Seasonal dew points are also forecast coming like this at mid-day Friday.
While some scattered storms are possible Saturday night and Sunday, mainly over Minnesota, Wisconsin, and NE Iowa, a more active ring of fire thunderstorm pattern should re-establish itself again for a few days early next week. Humidity will spike and temperatures will again warm as the heat dome re-anchors over Missouri. You can see it below at 500mb.
On the northern fringe of the heat I would expect another active period of storms for some part of the central Midwest. As of Thursday night the GFS was showing Iowa as the favored area for the most significant rains. Much of what you see below is forecast to fall between Monday and Thursday of next week. We'll see if the trends hold the next couple of days.
The big take away here is that we have a couple fine summer days to enjoy before the pattern turns active and potentially stormy once again. For better or worse, you have to admire the variety! Have a fantastic weekend and roll weather...TS