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Nobody likes a downer but in the case of our weather, this is one that you'll appreciate. Temperatures and humidity that have been off the charts for nearly a week, are going down. As a result, this is a forecast with an upside...and it's about time!

Here's a review of August highs in Cedar Rapids. The past 7 days the average maximum has been 93.5 degrees. That included a record high and the first 100 degree reading since 2012.

Things really got ugly the middle of the week when heat index values areawide were in the range of 115-125 degrees. Wednesday's extreme heat and humidity was the worst I've experienced since back in July of 1995.

Often times when we have dew points in the 80s, heat waves of this magnitude break with thunderstorms. With this event, capping (warm air aloft) was a major force that limited convection. Some decaying storms worked into the north before quickly dissipating Friday morning. Later in the day building heat, instability, and an outflow boundary kicked up some additional storms in the south. They struggled to get organized Friday evening and in the end the heat wave whimpered to an end with little in the way of storms or much needed rain. Here's what the Doppler rainfall estimates looked like late Friday night.

Saturday northerly winds herald the arrival of cooler, drier air. Highs will range from 80 north to 85 in the south. The day will start a little sticky in the south but humidity will steadily lower as the day wears on. Sunshine looks to be abundant and with a nice breeze, the weekend starts pleasant.

Sunday is shaping up to be a stellar day with highs mainly in the upper 70s under sunny skies. With dew points only in the 50s humidity will not be an issue. You can put it in the bank.

For the most part high pressure will be the dominate force in our weather through next week. That results in comfortable nights and pleasant days. Unfortunately such a set-up limits moisture and does not bode well for much in the way of precipitation.

Beyond that, long range signals indicate warmer weather returning in the 8-14 day period with ridging building into the central U.S. Not only does that foretell above normal temperatures, it suggests a continuation of dry weather with worsening drought conditions likely. Here's the 8-14 day temperature and precipitation outlooks from CPC.

These are the 16 day precipitation departures on the GFS through September 10th. A very dry look to be sure!

By the way, here is the latest drought monitor which continues to show my entire area in abnormally dry, or moderate to severe drought conditions. Eastern Iowa is in the worst shape and I would not be surprised to see some pockets of extreme drought show up in some of my counties west of the Mississippi in the next report.

On a positive note, we can all sing ding dong the heat is dead. A kinder more gentler brand of weather is moving into the Midwest. By Sunday, we can give that air conditioner a well deserved break. Have a great weekend and roll weather...TS



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