HERE A SHOWER, THERE A SHOWER...
Everybody likes an overachiever and that was the case with Tuesday's weather. Those turquois skies and highs in the mid to upper 60s brought many smiles to Midwestern faces. Even the winds were light which was the icing on the days cake. Very nice indeed.
We do have a little change of pace planned for Wednesday tied to a compact upper air low digging into the upper Midwest. It has some nice vorticity and even a closed circulation at 500mb.
However, surface moisture is lacking as evidenced by dew points only in the upper 40s to low 50s.
Additionally, the best lift and forcing is north of the region closer to the track of the surface low. As a result, the system is like to be a light rain producer. While we may see some showers, especially Wednesday night, much of what moisture is available will be tied up in cloud production. This animation off the 3k NAM shows some of the showers rotating around the circulation Wednesday-Thursday afternoon. The rain is somewhat banded and certainly showery in nature. That will make it light and somewhat hit and miss in coverage.
Here's what models are suggesting for rain totals.
The 3k NAM
The 12k NAM
Even with the addition of clouds and the chance of an afternoon shower, Wednesday should remain warm with highs still in the low 60s north to the upper 60s far south.
Thursday we can expect a brief cool-down behind a cold front and a switch to NW winds. Highs may hold in the upper 50s to near 60 south thanks to cold air advection, spotty showers, and what looks like plenty of wrap around clouds.
Friday another NW flow disturbance sweeps into Minnesota generating a quick burst of westerly winds and temperatures surge well into the 60s. Friday evening some showers are possible across the NE half of the region as a clipper tracks towards SW Wisconsin. The EURO has been leading the way on this development and is even stronger than yesterday. Most of the showers exit by Saturday morning but some healthy cold air advection is well underway. After rising a few degrees in the morning, steady or even falling temperatures are expected in the afternoon as colder air deepens on brisk NW winds. Passing clouds are also possible with a "stray" brief shower or sprinkle a possibility. Most of the day looks dry.
Sunday also looks rain free but crisp with highs 50-55 along with a scattering of fair weather cumulus clouds.
A SIGNIFICANT SYSTEM LATER NEXT WEEK
Fairly quiet seasonal weather is expected Monday and Tuesday of next week before a stout fall storm evolves late Wednesday and Thursday. The precise details are still being resolved (and will be the next few days). However, the big picture shows enough phasing within a strong Midwest trough for deep moisture, strong forcing, and an impressive baroclinic boundary. The GFS shows the trough ejecting across the region Thursday.
A tight thermal gradient exists on the eastern fringes of the through next Thursday morning. The GFS is really bringing the cold into NW Iowa while locally readings are around 55-60.
By evening Thursday, temperatures have crashed into the 30s.
Along that thermal boundary moisture has pooled and the impressive forcing ahead of the cold air squeezes it out in the form of significant rain. The EURO has this for amounts. That is quite substantial for late October if it materializes.
As I mentioned yesterday, how strong this system becomes is tied to the amount of energy phasing between the northern and southern streams. Models are known for having issues with the process at this distance so there are a range of potential solutions. The GFS fully opens the door to the polar jet and drives a wintry air mass into the Midwest Thursday night and Friday. I am far from ready to buy this extreme solution but I will show you what's on the table with this cautionary statement (this is 8 days out and much can change, especially towards a weaker less severe outcome). What the GFS shows is a fully phased solution and what I would call the worst case solution. I suspect newer runs will be more moderate with the cold. Let's hope so.
Anyway, for this particular run here are the temperatures the GFS throws out Friday morning October 27th.
These are its wind chills at that time.
There is also a band of snowfall which avoids my area but is not far away.
The EURO is at least 10 degrees warmer and a full day slower with the arrival of the colder air. The slower depiction would make more sense to me. The EURO also eliminates most of the snow.
So again, there is a a range of options that already exist in terms of impacts. If nothing else, both the EURO and GFS currently point to a good rain later next week and a decidedly colder look to the temperatures that follow. Winter is waking up. Let the fine tuning begin. Roll weather...TS
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