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DRYNESS BUILDS AGAIN...

We've enjoyed some beautiful weather the past week but it has come with a price in my northwest counties and that is increased dryness due to the lack of rain. The new drought monitor shows a tongue of abnormally dry soil conditions from SW Wisconsin back into parts of EC Iowa. That includes cities such as Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, and Dubuque. Moderate to severe drought now covers much of southern Iowa extending into WC Illinois.

It's a little hard to see in the week to week comparison due to the size of the image, but dryness has expanded northeast out of Iowa over the past 7 days.

This soil moisture percentile graphic shows the driest regions during September ran from my counties in southeastern Iowa back through the remainder of Iowa and Nebraska..

I mentioned in yesterday's post how I am working on 12 consecutive days with no rain in Dubuque. Here's where and how much rain has fallen in Iowa and Illinois since September 19th

In September alone, the monthly rainfall departures in Dubuque and some of my surrounding counties has exceeded 3" in September.

Since the 1st of May, some areas in SE Iowa have accumulated rain departures pushing 10 inches. That's impressive. Conversely, places in far NE Iowa and NC Illinois have 6-7 inch surpluses. It's easy to see how the storm track has bisected my area over that 5 month period.

At least the latest round of dry weather has come with fall-like temperatures which helps limit evaporation. This graphic shows where temperatures reached or fell below 32 degrees Wednesday morning. Some places in NC Wisconsin reached the lower 20s. The bottom panel depicts the duration of freezing temperatures and you can see even in NC Iowa readings at or below 32 were sustained for 2-3 hours ending the growing season there.

The cool weather we've been experiencing the last week is now set to undergo slow moderation. The remnants of hurricane Ian tracking up the east coast will maintain northwest flow throughout the Midwest this weekend. However, as Ian's circulation shifts further east Saturday and Sunday, air mass modification will allow highs to slowly tick upwards reaching the upper 60s to low 70s over the course of the weekend. Saturday appears to be the warmest day with highs near 70 before a minor cool-down drops readings a couple of degrees Sunday and Monday. Here's what the EURO depicts for high and low temperatures the next 10 days.

As far as rainfall is concerned, it looks like more of the same the next couple of weeks with little to no rain over the entire Midwest. The GFS shows this for rainfall departures the next 16 days ending October 15th.

The bottom line is if you are not in the part of my area that really could use a good rain, the next 8-14 days should be sensational. Seasonal temperatures and little to no rainfall will make for an uneventful but delightful period of weather. I say bring it on. Roll weather...TS

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