The past 2 months rainfall events have been few and far between, especially over the central Midwest and the heart of my viewing area. You can see how drought continues to expand below.
In Iowa nearly 70% of the state is abnormally dry with about 50% of Iowa in moderate to extreme drought.
Finally Wednesday night, a weak trough set up a band of narrow but very heavy rain that soaked some of the driest parts of southcentral and southeast Iowa. Wapello County near Ottumwa, hard hit by the drought saw amounts up to 7.00", 1 mile SSW of Davenport 6.53" was measured.
Notice on the graphic how narrow and abrupt the rain band was. Most of the 1-7" totals fell in a 50-60 mile swath from EC to SE Iowa. We got nothing here in Cedar Rapids and it's so dry the leaves are all falling off my trees.
The other big news has been the resurgence of warm weather. Fall officially starts at 3:02 PM Friday but it sure won't feel like it. Near record highs are expected in many parts of the Midwest this weekend. Thursday the high in Cedar Rapids tied the record of 93 set in 1920. What's even more interesting is that the 93 degree high was the warmest day of the year so far. It's very rare when your hottest day occurs September 21st!
Here's the highs the GFS is forecasting Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It's going to be a toasty weekend.
Fortunately moisture levels will only be moderate as dew points remain in the mid to upper 60s. That's noticeable but not high enough to create heat index values more than 3-5 degrees above the actual temperatures.
The warmth will make a big push north and highs in the 90s will penetrate deep into Minnesota and Wisconsin. Here's the NWS weather story boards from several Midwest cities.
La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Quad Cities-Davenport, Iowa
St. Louis, Missouri
Getting back to the issue of rain, the storm track and primary forcing will stay well west of my area and for that reason the weekend will also be high and dry. Rain chances will go up Monday night or Tuesday when a strong front crosses the Midwest. Once it departs temperatures take a big hit and by next Wednesday highs will be 25 to 30 degrees cooler than today and well below normal. Ups and downs, that's what fall is all about in the Midwest. Roll weather...TS