SLIDING INTO BASE SAFELY...
Scattered storms and much needed rain hit parts of the region Monday night. Some of the storms had gusty winds and torrential downpours. I would estimate gusts of at least 60 mph at my place in Marion! Below you can see the areas fortunate enough to get beneficial rain.
The region near and north of HWY 20 did well as did a southeast running swath from Waterloo and Cedar Rapids to near Iowa City, Another pocket of 1" totals was found from Burlington, Iowa into WC Illinois. Every drop was welcome here. Check out this larger perspective of rainfall estimates centered on Iowa.
You can see why the rain was so needed. Before its arrival, much of the region had received zero to 10 percent of its mean August rainfall.
Behind this front the upper level winds are again buckling into northwest flow. Into the weekend this should keep most of the rain and any heat well to the southwest.
Aside from a ridge riding disturbance Wednesday night, I see no other potential rain maker until later in the weekend. Most of the rain with that system should bypass my area to the southwest. As you can see out that way some of the amounts will be greater than an inch.
Behind this disturbance another push of dry air follows. Look at the PWATs (available water vapor) Thursday night. The values in my area are 30 percent of normal. Bone dry!
Here's the actual PWAT numbers. While dry to the north, just south in Missouri very moist air lurks with PWATs of 2.60".
The lack of water vapor is reflected in the dew points which Friday morning are well into the 50s. Very comfortable levels of humidity.
By Sunday moisture is expected to make a push back into the central Midwest as winds turn southerly. Dew points on the EURO have soared well into the 70s.
Highs are shown close to 90 (in some areas above that).
The heat and moisture will drive the heat index into the mid to upper 90s.
The introduction of a tropical air mass will generate renewed instability late weekend. However storm chances remain low with only scattered activity due to a general lack of forcing until Monday night or Tuesday. Here's the total rainfall shown on the EURO through next Monday.
To sum it up, were sliding safely into base Saturday. After that the dog days return for Sunday and Monday before cooling and rain chances end this summer flurry before it gets out of control. Roll weather....TS