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The heat is off, at least for awhile. The long awaited cold front has now inched far enough south to swing winds in from the east. As a result, temperatures in most spots were down a good 10 degrees Tuesday evening. Unfortunately, moisture levels are still high with dew points around 70. The front is now nearly stationary wavering around Iowa and Illinois.

As the front impinged on the warm air mass ahead of it, thunderstorms with locally heavy rain fell Monday night and again Tuesday afternoon. Here's where the heaviest rains fell last night. Some spots in NW Illinois from Freeport to Rockford had up to 5". Storms in WC Illinois Tuesday afternoon produced a quick 3" southeast of the Quad Cities.

With the front in the area and another strong disturbance ejecting towards the region Wednesday night and Thursday, rain returns to the central Miwest. You can see the compact energy rolling into SW Iowa below.

The system looks strong enough to generate a large swath of moderate to heavy rain. Some areas don't need it, others desperately do. The latest drought index shows far SE Iowa and N Missouri now in severe drought conditions.

Based on the latest data, the best case scenario is expected to unfold with much of the heaviest rain in my area falling where it's needed most. The 3k NAM has this for rain totals.

THE NAM has this.

The Weather Prediction Center indicates this.

The GFS looks like this.

While some scattered showers and storms are possible by Wednesday afternoon, the majority of the rain is likely to fall Wednesday night and Thursday...perhaps lingering into Friday. With clouds and precipitation, temperatures will remain below normal through Friday. However, humidity will be high so expect muggy conditions to linger. Roll weather...TS

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