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FEELING THE BURN BABY...

There has been a great deal of chatter about the heat that is coming to the Midwest in coming days. And while there is no debate it is going to get steamy, there is plenty of question about just how warm temperatures actually get and for how long. It's been my contention since early last week that the worst of it is likely to be contained to a 3 (perhaps 4 day period) Wednesday into Saturday. It's also been my belief that the GFS has huge problems with surface mixing and low dew points. so bad that its rendered the models temperature output useless. For that reason I'll be leaning heavily on the EURO for thermal considerations going forward.

Making matters worse is the fact my area will be near or on the northern edge of the heat dome, a region known as the "ring of fire" that is prime for generating convective clusters, especially during the overnight hours when the low level jet is maximized allowing the diurnal CAP to break. While these clusters tend to dissolve quickly the following morning, outflow boundaries, debris clouds, and decaying thunderstorms can restrict afternoon heating. Many a temperature bust has occurred thanks to those mesoscale features which are hard to foresee more than 12-24 hours in advance. For all the above listed reasons I'm going to be playing the heat more on the conservative side, especially in my northern counties where storms have a better chance of creating a somewhat cooler environment. Please note that even if highs remain in the low 90s, it will still be extremely muggy with evapotranspiration in full swing over the corn fields of the Midwest.


THE DAY BY DAY PROGNOSIS...


TUESDAY

Tuesday it appears there are minimal chances for storms and for that reason temperatures should not be skewed by that factor. Readings will increase as 850 temperatures jump to 20C. The EURO indicates highs generally around 90-92 degrees.

With dew points in the low to mid 60s heat index values should actually be similar to the ambient temperature.

TUESDAY NIGHT/WEDNESDAY

There is reasonably good agreement in modeling that storms will develop Tuesday night on the nose of the heat and low level jet. These would impact the area later Tuesday night or Wednesday morning with the NE half of the region most vulnerable. A strong storm is not out of the question and some heavy rains are possible, especially if an MCS can get going. SPC does have a slight risk severe outlook issued for the period.

Assuming storms do develop as advertised, they could significantly impact Wednesday's highs, particularly in the north. The EURO only shows mid 80s in that area. Again, the cooler readings are contingent on the storms. If they do not fire or dissipate quickly Wednesday readings will be significantly warmer. The area south of I-80 looks very toasty with mid 90s possible.

Dew points are expected to push into the low 70s and that is likely to create some heat index values in the south greater than 100. That could trigger heat advisories.

THURSDAY

If all goes according to plan most of the region should be capped due to warm air aloft. 850 temperatures are shown hitting 24C. That would generate a dry but steamy day with highs on the EURO in the low to mid 90s.

With dew points in the low to perhaps mid 70s, the heat index is shown in the upper 90s north to the low 100's south.

Another day with heat advisories is very possible.

THURSDAY NIGHT AND FRIDAY...

Things get a little tricky here as some models, including the EURO bring some storms in on the ring of fire later Thursday night and some of those could linger into Friday morning. The north is most favored for any storms with the cap holding tough in the south. Even with a few storms early Friday, they are shown dissipating quickly and 850 temperatures are indicated in the mid 20s late day. +26C in the south. This could very well be the warmest day of the hot period with mid 90s north to upper 90s in the south. The EURO spits out a 100 in Keokuk.

With dew points in the mid 70s, things have the potential to get nasty areawide with heat index values of 101-105. One thing to watch is the GFS breaking the cap in the afternoon for a few storms which could shave a few degrees off highs. No way to know this far out. These are the expected heat index values.

FRIDAY NIGHT/SATURDAY...

The early signs are there for some potent thunderstorms Friday evening and night as a cool front approaches what is likely to be a very unstable air mass. If storms pop they could quickly become strong and grow upscale into a squall line. The signs point to a wind event if all the ingredients are realized. It will be at least a couple more days before we can raise the red flag on the potential.


It does appear the cold front will and cold pool associated with the storms would push the front through the region by Saturday morning. That should leave us with cooler and drier air allowing the heat wave to quickly fading as NW flow returns. The EURO has highs that look like this Saturday. By Sunday readings are back in the low to mid 80s.

With very high moisture levels and potential energy this "ring of fire" set up could deliver some heavy rains by the time we get to Saturday morning. Defining the placement is a challenge at this distance but I would give a nod to the north half of the area for the best chances. We'll know much more in the next 24-48 hours about that potential. For now the EURO suggests this for rain amounts Tuesday night through Saturday morning.

That's where things stand for now. Stay cool and roll weather...TS


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