IF IT WEREN'T FOR BAD LUCK...
Well you've all heard the saying, if it weren't for bad luck, we'd have no luck at all. That's the way it played out again this past weekend with a large and relatively wet storm system sparing the majority of my area it's much needed rains. I had feared all last week that it would pull that trick and I harken back to the saying, "in times of drought, signs of precipitation don't pan out". What are you going to do? Here's a rough idea of where the rain fell. These are 5 day totals and I'll show a map centered on Illinois and another on Iowa. Of course my area is right in the middle centered on the Mississippi. While a few lucky spots picked up 1/4 inch, most areas had far less. That was not the case to our southeast and northwest where 1 to 3 inch amounts were common. We need a break!
Illinois 5 day rainfall
Iowa 5 day rainfall
Over the last 7 days you can see the black hole of weather prominently centered over eastern Iowa with rain all around it.
Many areas saw only 2-25 percent of its mean 7 day rainfall. I've witnessed that too many times this year.
On the satellite you can see what's left of the latest disturbance Monday evening over the Ohio Valley. On its northwest fringe low stratus continues to rotate around it from the north. At times we've seen some breaks and that will be the general trend with passing clouds mixed with pockets of sunshine dominating the forecast into Friday.
NOTE TO USERS, TERRY'S WINTER OUTLOOK WILL BE ISSUED THIS FRIDAY. BE SURE AND CHECK IN TO SEE WHAT THE OLD MAN IS THINKING...
As for what's going on weatherwise, much is dependent on what happens with another cut-off low that forms over the deep south in the vicinity of Louisiana. We don't usually need to worry about disturbances that far away but this one is unusual in that it tracks nearly due north once it gets established. The animation (Monday-Friday morning) shows the energy lifting north before the system opens up and exits.
As usual, cut-off lows tend to be slow movers as they are removed from the main westerlies. This one should be far enough away that it keeps any showers out of the area until perhaps late Wednesday (more likely Wednesday night). At that time clouds, light showers, or sprinkles will be found on an occasional basis into Thursday night , maybe even parts of Friday. The forcing is broad and comes in spokes of energy that rotate around the upper air low and 2 or 3 of those are anticipated. That is when the heaviest of the showers will occur. Timing those is a little difficult but due to the weak nature of the energy I am again expecting amounts to be light. The EURO and WPC output reflect that and are shown below.
The WPC totals
The GFS is up to its old tricks and is far heavier. I'll believe that when I see it.
Temperatures the next few days will be highly dependent on precipitation and cloud cover. For the most part readings should cluster in the mid to perhaps upper 70s although a little more or less sun could alter a given day by a few degrees.
With the cut-off low exiting Friday a deepening low pressure takes shape in the Plains. Winds turn to the southwest and begin to ramp up. By Saturday gusts of 30mph+ are possible which will send temperatures soaring. Highs should reach the mid 80s and with soils as dry as they are could go even higher approaching records in spots. The record high. for Cedar Rapids is probably most attainable at 86 set in 2010. Looks like a windy warm day in Kinnick Stadium for the Iowa Penn State showdown.
A cool front is expected to pass Saturday night or early Sunday dropping temperatures into the mid 70s Sunday. That's still 5-7 degrees above normal. Unfortunately, there's not much instability when the front passes and the best forcing is well to the north. That means any showers or isolated thunderstorms are likel