I'm not sure about you, but there were several times during what seemed like the never ending winter where I said to myself, "I can not wait until summer." Well, the wait is over. The next several days will contain plenty of warmth and humidity making summer weather fans, rejoice!
As I mentioned in yesterday's post, the month of June has been running cool. In fact, before today we went nine full days without an 80° temperature in Cedar Rapids. Very hard to do at this point in the year. But we are not the only ones. Warm temperatures have been difficult to come by for many places around the country. The map below shows the departure from the number of 80° days that we should have seen to this point. Much of the country has been below average with the exception of the southeast and parts of southern California and the west. Iowa has seen anywhere from 4 to 8 days below the average.
We got back on track Tuesday. High temperatures were well into the 80s across Iowa and the warmest we've been in Cedar Rapids since June 9th.
Heat will be the name of the game heading into the weekend along with increasing humidity. An upper-level ridge will amplify allowing plentiful warm air and moisture to surge northward.
The GFS model shows high temperatures on Saturday well into the 80s across the region with even some 90s possible.
Sunday temperatures on the GFS are more of the same.
If that isn't warm enough for you, factor in the humidity and the heat index (feels like) will make it feel awfully toasty. The GFS has values near or exceeding 100° which may be a bit overdone, but mid-to-upper 90s certainly is reasonable.
Along with the heat we may have to deal with occasional thunderstorm chances through the end of the week. A frontal boundary will be bisecting the area through Friday before lifting north into the upper Midwest this weekend. Factor in adequate instability and sufficient moisture and this may lead to thunderstorms or an MCS (mesoscale convective system - a complex of thunderstorms) each day or night. To be honest, right now confidence on the placement and timing of any system is rather low with a wide range of model solutions. I hope to iron out the details when they become more clear.
By the weekend, the heat dome will continue to build north. Thunderstorms like to flare up on the leading edge as waves of energy rotate around the high pressure. This is known as the "ring of fire."
The storm track will generally lay out across the Dakota's and upper Midwest this weekend as we are entrenched in the heat which should cap off our atmosphere and suppress thunderstorm development during the afternoon leaving us basking in the heat. Thunderstorms in this pattern generally track to the southeast and may get close to the local area. Something to keep an eye on. If anything, cloud debris may actually keep temperatures a tad cooler.
If you haven't done so already, you may want to reserve your pool time. Don't forget the ice cold beverages.