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With the addition of another dry week of weather for many in the central Midwest, drought continues to expand in coverage and intensity, especially in Iowa and Illinois.

You see below a large majority of southern Iowa and northern Illinois increased a category from abnormally dry to moderate drought status.

Iowa continues to be the epicenter of the dryness. As of September 1st 99.37 percent of the state is considered to be abnormally dry. 82 percent ranges from moderate to severe, to even extreme drought. 52 percent resides in the severe to extreme category.

The drought and severe derecho August 10th, has really hurt crop yields in Iowa. 55 percent of the states corn crop is rated fair to very poor condition by the USDA. 50 percent of the soybean crop is in the condition.Illinois is doing better but overall its not been a bumper year there either.

Over the past 30 days rainfall in Iowa and northern Illinois has been 10-50 percent of normal.

Now some positive news. the next crack at beneficial rain comes Saturday night and perhaps again Sunday night. There is good agreement that an MCS (convective system) will develop Saturday night and impact some part of my area. The potential is there for locally heavy rain as it rides southeast. Current indications are that the northeastern half of my area stands the best chance of the heavier rains.

Sunday night another opportunity exists as the long touted "cold" front approaches that will send temperatures plunging next week. This set-up is more doubtful though as the speed of the front is in question. No matter what, the weekend is going to be a warm one and that warmth will most likely hold into Monday in my area. Between the two rain threats the EURO shows this for total precipitation.

The GFS is not quite as generous and further north.

That brings me to the big issue we discussed in my last post and that was the handling of energy in a trough that digs into the Midwest next week. Today there are far less discrepancies among solutions and that leaves me with higher confidence in the sensible weather next week. Here's the side by side of the 500mb pattern and what it means below. The GFS is left and the EURO right.

The most important feature to key on is the split that exists in the energy. The phasing of the northern and southern stream branches is now significantly less in both models, something the EURO has hinted at the last two days.This results in higher confidence and better consistency on the timing and depth of the cold air that arrives next week. The GFS is still a few degrees cooler but we don't see the 25-30 degree discrepancies observed yesterday. Both models have high next Wednesday near 50. Here's the comparison in temperature by way of the GFS and EURO meteograms.




To give you and idea of the strength of the coming system, take a look at what happens in Colorado and western Nebraska. Sunday highs are at 100, perhaps 110 in south-central Nebraska.

Just 24 hours later temperatures are as much as 50 degrees colder and falling fast.

By Monday night snow breaks out as temperature reach the freezing mark. By Tuesday evening the EURO shows more than 20" of snow on some of the peaks, 6-8" in Denver. Winds could reach 40 mph. Now that is what I call extreme weather. Some of the temperature drops could be nearly 80 degrees in less than 2 days! If I was in the Midwest I might make the drive just to say I lived through something like that. Dang.... The EURO snow forecast.

Well, I've spent too much time on this and I've got to move on. Friday will be a fine day with sunny skies and mild highs in the low 80s. I suggest you enjoy that and the fact it's Friday. Changes are coming. Roll weather...TS

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