Friday is was what I would call a dark dreary start to the weekend. Not only were there a few light showers around, high temperatures in many spots did not get out of the 50s, easily making this the coldest day in that regard since May 5th. If you're wondering, that's a span of 141 days.
Friday's chill was felt across all of the Midwest with many locations 10-17 degrees below average.
While there were some showers around, as expected they didn't amount to much in my area and certainly had no impact on dry soil conditions which still exist in my southern counties. That said, the rains that fell last weekend did improve the drought situation from a week ago. In the side by side comparison of the drought monitor, you can see last weeks classification on the right. Severe to extreme drought was indicated over southern Iowa and some of WC Illinois. This week on the left, the extreme drought category has been removed and extreme drought in SE Iowa has been eliminated as well.
Here's the 7 day rainfall estimates showing the heavy rain band that caused the improvement.
The dry conditions could worsen again though, especially if the long range precipitation estimates are accurate. As you can see, the GFS shows little if any rain the next 16 days through October 9th.
That results in 16 day rainfall departures ending October 9th that look like this.
The EURO has a very similar look so there is high confidence dry quiet weather is in the cards for at least the next two weeks. Good drying weather for crops and harvesting.
What will be interesting to watch is the impacts hurricane Fiona will have on the long wave pattern the next few days. The energy from the now extratropical storm at 500mb dumbbells' northwest which backs the jet, buckles the downstream flow, and carves out a trough over the Great Lakes that looks like this next Tuesday.
This process draws colder air into the Midwest Monday night. By Wednesday morning a large Canadian high is situated over the Midwest with plenty of cool dry air and light winds under its belly.
That set-up is likely to produce scattered frost, especially in the northern parts of the area. Again, frost will be contingent on a night with clear skies and light winds which is depicted on several models, especially Wednesday morning. It likely won't be a hard freeze but hey, frost is frost. It has to be cold to get it. Here's what the GFS currently shows for lows Wednesday morning. The freezing line is down near HWY 20 with mid 30s to I-80.
The GFS ensembles currently shows a 40-50 percent chance of a temperature 32 degrees or colder up near HWY 20. That's increased significantly since yesterday as models are beginning to grasp the depth of the cold air.
Additionally, a new hurricane threatens the southeast next week which is expected to ride northeast along the eastern seaboard. Depending on its track and intensity it may hold the mean trough in place through next week. That keeps us dry but potentially on the cool side the majority of the week. The EURO indicates this for 5 day temperature departures Tuesday through Friday. Plenty of fall in that depiction.
As for the short term. Any lingering showers should be out of the region early Saturday and by afternoon we are expecting clouds to break for some periods of sunshine. Ahead of another disturbance diving into the upper Midwest that should get highs into the low 70s and create a decent afternoon.
Sunday should be more of the same but perhaps a few degree cooler in the far north where upper 60s are possible, Otherwise lower 70s should do it which is right on the money for this time of year. I'll take it.
That's all I have for you today. Here's hoping you have an exceptional weekend. Roll weather...TS