It didn't surprise me when the new drought monitor came down Thursday morning and dry and drought conditions were expanded across my local area. In fact, the Cedar Rapids airport has not recorded any rain in the last 19 days. Zip!
So Cedar Rapids is now in a moderate drought and severe and extreme drought conditions have expanded over south central Iowa. And here's a look at the entire Midwest:
It certainly has been dry, but the tides are turning and it is going to get a bit more active around here. It begins Saturday afternoon and evening as a cold front moves through the Midwest. Showers and thunderstorms are going to be pretty scattered, but rain is rain.
Ahead of the front, it's going to be a pretty warm day once again.
Temperatures will be climbing close to 90 degrees across much of the Midwest (ahead of the front) and dew points will be in the 50s and 60s.
Nothing overly impressive, but enough to generate some instability. CAPE (convective available potential energy) values below will be enough to lead to some isolated strong thunderstorms in western Iowa Saturday evening.
The Storm Prediction Center has even introduced a slight risk for severe weather - I don't think we've had a slight risk (or higher) in about a month in much of the Midwest:
The main story here will be the rain, though. Moisture isn't overly high but something is better than nothing -
A tighter look at my local area:
That is the rainfall expected through Sunday -- there are some isolated higher amounts in there and those locations, of course, aren't set in stone. While these totals are looking meager, there is hope in the future. Check out the next seven days of precipitation on the European and GFS models:
Some pretty good agreement on the Midwest getting in on some decent rainfall. The timing is hard to nail down right now, but confidence is increasing that we'll have more moisture around next week. It will take some time to crawl out of the dry conditions and drought, but these are good signs!