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Statistically, the hottest time of the year in the central Midwest is mid-July so it goes to figure that's the most likely time to experience an extended heat wave. This year we're bucking that trend with a late season heat burst that's brought the warmest high of the summer to some areas along with the most prolonged period of warmth. Here's summer temperatures in Cedar Rapids. I've highlighted 90 degree highs in yellow. Remarkably, up until Monday we had not had consecutive 90 degree days. The max of 94 two days ago is the hottest reading of the summer.

Were not done yet, the pattern looks ripe for 3 more toasty days in the 90s. The EURO depicts this for highs through Saturday. Looks like an excellent chance of ending up with 6 consecutive 90 degree readings.

With the days steadily getting shorter and the sun less direct, it gets harder and harder to get these stretches of warmth, especially after the first week of September (which are fast approaching). One aspect that's enhancing this round of warmth is the dry ground and lack of evapotranspiration. That keeps the air drier and allows it to warm up during the day and cool during the night. Even after the 94 degree high Monday in Cedar Rapids, the low Tuesday cooled to a pleasant 63 Tuesday morning.

Speaking of that dry ground, you can see the rain deficits that have climbed to over 3 inches in many spots the past 30 days.

Looking for rain? Once in awhile this time of year a tropical system can bring ample moisture and enough residual energy to bring some beneficial precipitation. We had one of those storms back in early June (Christobal) that brought up to 5 inches of rain to parts of eastern Iowa. As of Tuesday night what's expected to be a major hurricane (category 3 strength) is spinning over the Gulf. The satellite presentation is looking very healthy for rapid development. The storm is named Laura.

As you can see the track is aimed at the Midwest initially but the westerlies will shear it east taking the moisture with it.

That also takes the widespread significant rains into the Ohio Valley. We sure could have used some of that.

When the heat eventually breaks Friday night or Saturday thanks to a cool front behind Laura, there could be some spotty rains with the cooler air. However, the best chances are going to be to the north and east. The EURO has this for rain potential through Saturday morning.

After that, probably several more days before the next crack at any rain. At least temperatures will be significantly cooler by the end of the weekend. So it goes. Roll weather...TS

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