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The drought that plagued the northern half of my area all summer has loosened its grip the last month. Here in the Quad Cities at least a trace of rain was measured on 18 of October's 31 days at the NWS office in Davenport.

Back on October 5th, much of the region (even some of the south) was under abnormally dry to severe drought conditions. The severe drought has been eliminated with the rains of the past month but there's still some work to be done north of I-80. You can see the 3 week improvement comparison below.

Things actually were not all that bad going into April with only a few spotty dry spots.

After that things really turned dry, especially in my northern counties and while tantalizingly close, abundant rains fell over the south. Here's the current yearly rainfall departures. Still dry in the north with no rain in sight for the next week. Down south, it's almost been too wet with 8 to 10 inch surpluses.


One thing's for sure, temperatures have really tanked the past two days with highs in the 40s and sub-freezing lows. Monday morning readings were generally in the mid to upper 20s allowing for a solid hard freeze out around Iowa City and Cedar Rapids. Just 22 at the Cedar Rapids airport.

Tuesday morning should be even colder with widespread low to mid 20s. Winds will be lighter, the air dry, and under fair skies the stage is set for maximum cooling. The hi-res HRRR is advertising temperatures like this near sunrise. I think they will be a few degrees cooler. A frosty start to be sure!

The crisp weather will be with us the next couple of days. Highs will remain in the mid to upper 40s Tuesday and Wednesday and well aim for 50 Thursday. Lots of sunshine on the docket.


The big news in the weather is the warming trend that is coming for the weekend. There is excellent model consensus regarding the pattern and thus high confidence we are going back to the sixties, potentially as early as Saturday in my western counties in Iowa. If not then most certainly Sunday through Wednesday, possibly even Thursday. In fact, some models support highs near 70 towards the middle of next week ahead of our next storm. That's a tough ask this time of year but if nothing else we could rack up at least 5 days with highs in the 60s. The GFS has this for max temperatures November 11th. Things would have to come together perfectly for that to happen and I suspect we'll end up somewhere in the mid to upper 60s.

For perspective, if we did manage to pull off highs in the low 70s those readings would be about 25 degrees above normal. Wouldn't that be sweet?

You can see why we warm so dramatically in the 500mb jet stream structure which generates strong SW flow aloft as well as at the surface. Here is the 500mb flow next Wednesday and below that is the resulting temperature departures.

We will pay for the warmth though once the system passes. On it's back side the Midwest gets into the trough and healthy push of polar air.

Below are the temperature departures the following weekend (November 14-15th). Widespread cold is shown across the central United States. Highs may not climb out of the 30s. When you consider the lows which could end up deep in the 20s, we should see a a temperature range of roughly 40-50 degrees in a matter of a couple days later next week. That's always fun.

It also appears it will be over a week before out next chance for any meaningful precipitation. The next 8 days the GFS has this for rainfall totals. Lean times.

On a final note, something that's far more speculative. As you probably know, I'm pretty bullish on a cold December enhanced by a stratospheric warming event. I looked at the GFS long range output that goes out to December 6th.

I can't say with any degree of certainty this will pan out but it fits the ideas I have and thus I feel it has merit. What you see below is the 500mb jet the evening of December 5th. Note the red paint bomb over Alaska which denotes a huge ridge in off the west coast. It's location allows the jet to establish a cross polar flow that's aimed at the NC United States. That would give very cold air unlimited access to the Midwest, at least for a time in early December.

Below the surface anomalies depict a 1046mb Arctic high that stretches from Alaska to Montana. That big boy would bring some bitter cold air which I think there is significant potential for at some point in December. For me that's a very interesting trend that I will be watching closely in the next few weeks. Fun with weather!

That's it for the here and now. Thanks for your time and if you appreciate the site please consider a donation by clicking the link below. The future of TSwails is in your kind and caring hands. Roll weather...TS


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