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STILL CRUISING, BUT THE END IS IN SIGHT...

You may recall that just before summer started (meteorological summer is the period June-August), that I put out a forecast calling for near to slightly below normal temperatures. I was taking a beating on that with hot weather in June. However, recently we've seen a dramatic turn-around, especially the past 30 days. That's evened the playing field. Here's where we stand now with summer departures. Near to slightly below normal. At least for now, I'm back on track. .

The 60 day temperature departures.

Here's the 30 day departures.

The last 2 weeks have really been on the cool side.

Most impressive though has been the past 5 days which have been off the charts fresh. Most of the central Midwest running 9-17 degrees below normal. A perfect time for that to happen.

The high in Cedar Rapids Wednesday was 75. The last time we had a high on August 5th colder than that was in 1993, (27 years ago) when we reached only 71 degrees. By the way, CR started the day at 49. Ames went all the way down to 46 with Mason City at the bottom with a 45.

These are the daily departures from normal in Cedar Rapids since June 1st. Two hot periods, the beginning of June and July and that's the worst of it.

Fortunately its been cool because the rains have been spotty the past month and things are getting a little dry, especially out to the west of my area. Here's the latest drought monitor. This will be updated later Thursday.

In Iowa 62 percent of the state is now considered abnormally dry. 3 months ago that number was zero. 45 percent of the state is now in moderate to severe drought.

Prospects for rain and warmer temperatures do go up this weekend with the addition of a more typical August air mass. In fact, Sunday has the potential to be a steamy day with highs hugging 90 and dew points surging into the 70s. That should send heat index values close to 100, especially in the southern half of my area.

That also leads to CAPE and instability.

With the addition of a front towards evening thunderstorms look to be a possibility, especially in the north. Some could be strong with the potential for beneficial rain in spots late Sunday or Sunday night. That's preceded by another rain chance Friday night or Saturday from an approaching MCS. It's still too early to get precise on timing and placement but at least the possibility of some rain exists. The EURO shows this for total precipitation through Sunday night.

Meantime the next couple days still look excellent with some passing clouds and comfortable temperatures. Highs should remain in the upper 70s to near 80 Thursday and in the low to perhaps mid 80s Saturday before the heat is on Sunday. Until next time, roll weather...TS

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