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We are currently in an active push-pull weather pattern that brings rain chances nearly every other day. What's interesting, is the fact that the wave train is so progressive and the timing so precise that the rain days are regularly followed by high pressure, which promotes sunshine and seasonal temperatures the following day. It's like ping pong...back and forth we go.

Thursday was one of those wet days, with showers and some thunderstorms scattered around much of the central Midwest. As I expected, the forcing was laid out from SW to NE Thursday, establishing the best lift for the heavier rains NW of the Quad Cities. In fact, there was a very hard cut-off to the primary rain shield that set-up over eastern Iowa.

The Doppler rainfall estimates indicate that too, showing a wall of wet weather west of a line from about Kirksville, Missouri to Washington, Iowa and on to just southeast of Dubuque. Some spots, from Iowa City southwest, are shown with 2 to perhaps 3 inch totals, soakers to say the least. Amounts were significantly lighter east of the Mississippi.

The great thing about this rain event is that this time around, some of the heavier rain fell on parts of eastern Iowa that remain in severe to extreme drought conditions, according to the new drought monitor issued Thursday. Slowly, but surely, these regular rain events are eating away at the dry soils of central and eastern Iowa.

It makes sense when you see most of my area has had 125 to 200 percent of its mean rainfall for the period April 2nd to May 1st, which constitutes totals of 4–8 inches. That of course doesn't even include what fell Thursday.

I'll have more on what the future holds for any additional rain and the weekend ahead in the forecast below.




Friday is an up day as high pressure returns with dew points poised to fall into the upper 30s north to the upper 40s south, (37 is shown in Dubuque, which is more than 20 degrees lower than Thursday).

Fortunately, the dry air heats up nicely this time of year, and it certainly looks like with abundant sunshine Friday we'll be able to push highs into the low 70s. Just as nice, winds will be light as well!

Saturday, the next system on the wave train approaches from the west. A rapid return of moisture seems more likely in recent models and as such showers and possibly a thunderstorm is possible, especially later in the afternoon and early evening. The influx of clouds and scattered precipitation will keep temperatures cooler, with highs ranging from 64 far north to 74 far south.

Sunday we revert to our dry ways and highs that should again reach the upper 60s to low 70s with mostly sunny skies.

Monday, another vigorous storm kicks out of the Plains. For now, the day looks dry, but clouds will be on the increase in the afternoon. However, enough sunshine prevails before that to get highs back into the low to mid 70s. Monday night, a new wave of showers and thunderstorms are likely as a cold front pivots NE through the region.

Models are not in sync in forcing and timing of precipitation Saturday through Monday night. As a result, rainfall is still a bit up in the air. For the time being, here's what the EURO and GFS show for the two systems combined.



I'm still seeing a likely pattern change next week that puts the 500mb storm track in this position a week from today. Rest assured, that is not the look you want to see for mild temperatures.

In fact, the GFS shows temperature departures next Friday (the start of Mother's Day weekend) that are well below normal over all the Midwest. Ugh...

Fortunately, that is not a concern for us today, as chamber of commerce weather is set to prevail. Enjoy the fine conditions and the fact it's Friday! Roll weather...TS


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