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Some mighty fine weather was found around the Midwest Tuesday. Many places remained in the 70s for highs with sunshine and dew points in the upper 50s. That's a tough combination to conjure up July 18th. All the stormy weather was well to the west and south where an active "ring of fire" pattern is readily apparent on Tuesday evening's satellite image. While there was a bit of wildfire smoke visible, it was most prevalent further south in Missouri and central Illinois.

It's a lot to ask if we can have another one of these stellar days but essentially we'll stay in the good graces of mother nature through Sunday. The main player in the short term forecast is a cool front which enters the picture Wednesday night providing the north with a small chance of showers and storms.

Ahead of the front, temperatures will warm several degrees Wednesday allowing highs to drift into the low to mid 80s, about what's expected in mid-July. It will take a bit of time but the pre-frontal draw will introduce some moisture allowing dew points to reach the mid to upper 60s towards evening. Humidity will be more noticeable in the afternoon.

Water vapor (PWAT's) on the EURO is shown pushing 1.50" Wednesday night.

That does develop some CAPE (instability), an environment favorable for at least widely scattered storms in the far north.

However, the timing of the front and its forcing is going to be late and confined to the north Wednesday night. That is not an optimal time for storms and any that can arrive in the north are likely to be in a weakening phase. The bulk of the action should be further north where SPC indicates a slight risk of severe storms from NW Iowa into SE Minnesota. That said, it's possible a few storms could clip the north before they fizzle and die out by Thursday.

With the front exiting my southern counties by afternoon Thursday new storms will likely develop southeast of the area in Missouri and Illinois leaving much of the region void of rainfall from this frontal passage. Behind the front drier air will return to the region Thursday afternoon with temperatures again in the low to mid 80s. Friday should be a splendid day, much like Tuesday with highs in the upper 70s to low 80s and dew points only in the mid 50s.

At least for now the weekend looks typically warm with little if any chance of rain. Highs both Saturday and Sunday should be in the low to mid 80s, maybe a few upper 80s in the south Sunday afternoon.

It's ironic that the Midwest enjoys such pleasant weather while heat broils the SW quadrant of the nation. Phoenix just tied a record with 18 consecutive days of highs over 110 degrees. Remarkably, El Paso, Texas has reached a high of 100 degrees or more on 33 consecutive days. There continue to be signs that the SW heat dome will advance towards the Midwest the middle or end of next week. However, the process will take time and the real heat (if it comes) is not likely until the end of July and early August. The deterministic EURO shows highs at or above 100 for many August 1st.

Those readings are about 18-20 degrees above normal.

That said, notice what the EURO ensembles are showing for highs in the Quad Cities the next 15 days. Highs never get above 92. What that means is that many of the 52 ensemble members are not seeing the extreme heat the deterministic runs are indicating. That leads to doubt regarding the intensity and length of any heat, something I pointed out yesterday.

In fact, if you look at the 500mb jet August 2nd on the EURO ensemble you can already see a strong short wave cutting into the upper Midwest August 2nd. Such a development would quickly cut off any serious heat in short order.

So, while I do look for hotter (more typical summer weather) in the longer range the sympathetic trough that's dominated the overall pattern since May is certainly a factor that I would not discount from holding extreme heat at bay or keeping its stay relegated to a couple days. This will be interesting to watch.

Meanwhile, CPC's 6-10 day outlook on the left shows temperature departures that look like this July 24-28th. On the right it also shows a moderate risk of excessive heat over the central Midwest July 26th-August 1st. We shall see.

As for rain, this currently does not look like a good 2 week period ahead. There's a lot of capping and the storm track will be displaced from too far south, to too far north most of that stretch. As you can see, the GFS indicates well below normal rainfall July 18-August 3rd.

The EURO is of the same mindset and so am I.

Alright, that's the good, bad, and the ugly. At least for now we are in the midst of "much good" and I for one intend to enjoy it. Roll weather...TS



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