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Just a few weeks ago we were begging for the rain to let up. Some fields in the Midwest were dealing with standing water. Some farmers couldn't plant. The Mississippi broke records for remaining above flood stage for months and months... Now, over the last seven days some parts of the Midwest haven't had any rain.

Don't get me wrong - we needed this to happen. We needed to dry out, but we didn't need to go from all of the rain to nothing. The ground needed to dry out, though. And it has. Here's a look at the difference since summer began - since April 30th:

And the change has been even more dramatic over the last month...

Over the next week it's feast or famine in the Upper Midwest. Here's a look at the precipitation totals for the next five days:

Much of Iowa and Illinois will have typical summer time pop up showers and thunderstorms this week, not any widespread, organized storm systems. Up in Minnesota and Wisconsin there will likely be several mesoscale convective systems (MCS) that move through. These are more common in the evening and overnight hours in this pattern - the ring of fire...

We've talked about this before - a big area of heat builds under upper level high pressure. Thunderstorm activity is pretty suppressed under this "heat dome." (However if any storms do develop they tend to be strong and produce heavy rain). Thunderstorms (and these MCSs) are most likely on the edge of the heat - the ring. Hence why the rainfall totals are highest in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

This is going to be a prolonged stretch of heat and dry weather for many of us that will likely last for over a week...


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