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What do you do on a warm late spring evening as the sun begins to set. Well, if you're me and the weather is slow as molasses in January, you walk across the street and take in one of the world's greatest rivers. Yup, that's the mighty Mississippi which was in a gentle mood on its relentless journey to the Gulf of Mexico. Here's some examples of the view I partook in. I even had a private chat with old Huck Finn. Not bad for the price!

Off in the distance I did see a couple anvils, the product of some isolated storms which looked like this on the Doppler. Few and far between indeed. Select spots, especially in NW Illinois may have seen some downpours but for most, it was another warm uneventful day.

So where do we go from here? At least in the short term (Thursday-Friday), things should remain generally warm and muggy with rain chances pretty much shot. I will mention a 10-20% possibility east of the Mississippi Thursday afternoon but I think that's being generous. Anybody that gets rain should feel very fortunate!

What will be an issue is the temperatures which for a a couple days will enter the hot category meaning highs of 91 to perhaps 94. Dew points in the upper 60s to near 70 will raise the heat index even higher into the mid to upper 90s (that's how it will feel).

Late Friday night or Saturday there's a small threat for widely scattered showers and storms as a cold front wings its way southeast. In my area forcing appears weak and timing poor so coverage should be broken and amounts light, especially in the pattern we are in. The GFS is more aggressive than the EURO and with many in need of rain I don't want to inflate hopes. The GFS has a tendency to overplay its hand. Here's what the EURO indicates for rain (more to my liking).

The GFS has welcome amounts 2-3 times what the EURO shows. That looks suspect.

One thing you will notice Saturday night is a significant drop in humidity levels. While temperatures will stay warm (near 90) it's going to feel better, especially Sunday. This does signify the onset of a pattern change that by Wednesday of next week brings a very pleasant brand of weather. You can see why by way of the 500mb jet stream flow.

Today, warm and sticky

Next weekend, comfortably cool with very low humidity under a pronounced NW flow.

Get a look at these projected dew points next Saturday in the 40's!

Throw that into temperatures in the mid 70s and that's a winning combination.

I say this with a high level of confidence too. The EPO (Eastern Pacific Oscillation) is shown taking a significant dive into the negative phase. Such a sharp downturn is a strong indicator of a west coast ridge and eastern trough. The type of flow that can deliver fresh Canadian air.

Notice too how the 5 day temperature departures over the next 15 days show the cooling trend.

Days 0-5

Days 5-10 (this could be cooler, I think the EURO is a tad slow)

Days 10-15 This looks better.

Northwest flow does not lend itself to deep moisture so I am afraid this signals a couple more weeks (at least) of below normal precipitation. The EURO agrees showing these rainfall departures over the next 15 days.

I guess if it's not going to rain, the next best thing is to keep it as cool as possible. It's a few days away but in time we should be able to get it done. Roll weather...TS


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