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A SLOW BURN...

For some it came, for others it was another miss. The weekend rains were a joyous sight for some area farmers, especially those in my western counties. For those near and east of the Mississippi it was more angst as the rains were tantalizingly close and barely settled the dust (if there was any at all). In this graphic you can see there was a swath from NW to SE across Iowa where 1 to as much as 2 inches fell. However, the rain hit a wall of dry air from EC Iowa and areas north and east of the Quad Cities and died on contact.

A closer view of Iowa's weekend rains.

Here's what fell in Illinois.

Another perspective of the 48 hour weekend rain totals by way of Doppler estimates.

After the weekend system, the road was paved for a continuation of very warm and extremely dry weather through at least Saturday. The EURO has been doing a better job with highs lately as it seems to be handling the feedback from the dry soils and dry lower atmosphere better. I like its idea of highs in the range of 88 to 94 Tuesday-Saturday. Here's the EURO meteogram for the Quad Cities out to Sunday June 25th. That 93 Sunday is very questionable.

The plus is that dew points are likely to remain in the 50s during the day so despite the warmth, it won't be that thick oppressive heat we so often see in summer.


The biggest question to answer is can we get a system strong enough to deliver some rain late this weekend? On a home from from Iowa City to Dubuque I witnessed many fields where corn was rolling and some areas even firing (turning yellow in spots). These are tried and true signs the crop is under stress in many parts of eastern Iowa due to drought. Another 6 days of sunshine and highs near 90 will make rain a critical ingredient for crop development going forward. The EURO is bullish on bringing a closed upper low into the region Sunday and Monday. It's forcing and positioning ripe for widespread rain that could be in the area into next Tuesday. This is the 500mb energy it shows followed by the rain it generates.

EURO rainfall

The GFS does not dig the closed system as deeply into the Midwest and is far more progressive with its movement. That takes the better forcing further north and leaves much of the area on the dry side one again. Here's its 500mb energy and resulting rainfall for comparison.

Below is the GFS rainfall output, which is far less than the EURO. It's far too early to make an accurate assessment as to how this plays out. Considering how dry we've been I hate to get too optimistic with patterns being as unproductive as they have been in recent weeks. I think it best to just say there's potential but low confidence due to the the track discrepancies. That said, I will be surprised if the generous totals of the EURO come to fruition. We will need more time to follow the trends. Meantime, prayers and rain dances are very much in order.

Looking way out, the EURO weeklies are in which go out to August 4th. They show the block continuing with a trough over the east. Under that it's cool and very wet all through the east coast. The Midwest remains warm and very much below normal on rainfall. 46 day rain departures are shown below.

These are the temperature anomalies for the same period showing warmth from the Midwest to Texas. Assuming the pattern remains in tact, persistence would argue for warm and dry.

That means it's steady as she goes my friends. (SWD) Sunny, warm, and dry! A slow relentless burn. Roll weather...TS


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