Make no mistake about it, the weather pattern across the central U.S. is really going to get cranking later this week. A prolonged period of southwesterly flow will bring multiple rain chances and for some, significant severe thunderstorms much of the next 10-14 days. In the animation below you can see a vigorous trough dig into the Southwest and essentially reside there for 10 days, ejecting energy into the central U.S. on a regular basis. A very impressive set-up that should be a prolific tornado maker over the central and southern Plains as well as parts of the Midwest.
This type of jet configuration is also loaded with moisture and you can see it surging northward out of the Gulf of Mexico.
The placement of individual short waves and fronts will determine where the heaviest precipitation falls but I'm confident it's going to be widespread and generous across the central U.S. The EURO EPS ensemble shows this for precipitation the next 15 days.
The GFS ensemble has this the next 16 days.
Keep in mind these are ensembles, some member shows significantly more which is probable where repeated thunderstorms are concerned.
With regards to severe weather, here's a first. Never before has the Storm Prediction Center highlighted an area for all Days 4-8 with a 15% or greater probability of severe. Busy times ahead at that office where all the severe weather watches and outlooks originate.
As you can see my area is currently not directly under any specific outlook but we are on the fringe of several. I suspect at some point we will get in on the act as these are re-defined with time.
One of the biggest headaches to predict going forward will be the temperatures. A lake Michigan enhanced boundary is going to waver over my area creating one of those classic situations where highs could vary 25 degrees from north to south come Friday and Saturday. From experience I can tell you these fronts like to hang up near I-80 (roughly the southern extent of Lake Michigan). That said, the further north of that boundary the cooler it will be, especially near HWY 20 where temperatures may struggle to get out of the low to mid 50s. On the other hand, highs should be close to 80 over SE Iowa and WC Illinois. The GFS shows this for Friday.
The first chance for widespread rain in my area arrives Thursday night as that lake front starts pushing south. A band of showers and storms with some broken areas of heavy downpours are likely during the night. The GFS shows this for rainfall through Friday. There will be more to come through the weekend.
The NAM for the same period.
And the 3k NAM
Needless to say the there are numerous challenges ahead and the next 10 days will be busy ones for people like me. Rock and Roll weather...TS