IT'S GOOD TO BE COOL...
A potent upper air low (especially by mid-June standards) continues to whirl around over the Great Lakes. On its back side another push of fresh Canadian air is being forced into the Midwest. Not only is the air cool, it's dry. Very early Monday water vapor levels were down around 1/4 inch in some locations.
The center of the 500mb circulation and its relative chill Monday was directly over Lake Michigan. The pipeline to Canada's finest cool dry air was wide open.
By daybreak Monday with the dry air in place, fair skies, and diminishing winds, temperatures crashed. In Iowa Elkader dipped to 35 degrees with several other surrounding spots in the mid to upper 30s. In WC Wisconsin Black River Falls went all the way down to 28. Sparta Ft. McCoy was at 29.
Those temperatures were 15-20 degrees below the norms.
The renewed push of cool air will keep our weather comfortable through Tuesday. One thing to watch for in the NE is a slight chance of showers with some vorticity spiraling southward on the backside of the upper level low. A similar set-up late Monday and Monday night brought widely scattered showers to parts of the area. A few spots picked up a 1/4 of an inch but in most areas it was considerably less (if any at all). The hi-res CAMS are most aggressive with Tuesday's potential. The spectral models such as the GFS and EURO keep showers confined to NW Illinois and a small portion of EC Iowa. Amounts are likely to be quite light where they pop up with the more concentrated amounts further east. The EURO shows this for rain totals. Look at the "eye" like feature of the circulation center over WC Michigan Tuesday night with showers wrapping around it. Too bad that wasn't centered about 200 miles further southwest.
The 3k NAM tries to get a few of these showers further west which would be nice. It's not out of the question but I would prefer to play that down considering the need for rain and the uncertainty involved.
The 3k NAM
Speaking of rain, some of you did see some Saturday night with a few select spots picking up a 1/2 inch. However, rains of that distinction were limited and many areas had barely enough to settle the dust. Here's the Doppler estimates of weekend rain. The blue indicates 1/4" with the green 1/2". The poor old Quad Cities picked up just .07". However, their luck improved Monday with the NWS measuring a 1/10th of an inch in a shower meaning that over the past 35 days total rainfall at the NWS in Davenport has inched up to .33". Average rainfall per day now is .16". That means on average, it should take the Quad Cities no more than 3 days to exceed that .33" amount! Instead, over the past 35 days a deficit of 5.27" has accumulated.
Needless to say rainfall has been at a premium the past 5 weeks. Going back to May 11th, There are places in southeast Iowa that have seen only 3-12 percent of there average rainfall.
West-Central Illinois is in the same boat.
SO, WHAT'S THE FUTURE HOLD?
Going forward, I don't currently see anything that indicates widespread or even above normal rainfall. I do think there will be some rain chances but nothing that's well organized is currently depicted. That implies what rain falls will be hit and miss and scattered in nature. Hopefully luck is on your side if you need rain because a bucket of luck would go a long way in the situation we're facing.
Anyway, here's what the rainfall departures look like the next 2 weeks on the EURO and GFS. The EURO is the most dire showing this through June 27th.
The GFS is better but still shows deficits of 1 to 1.5 inches for the same period.
The EURO weeklies which go out through July 28th don't offer much hope. Here's what they show for rainfall departures the next 46 days.
Temperatures are shown to be well above normal indicating the development of strong summer heating.
A 46 day outlook always needs to be taken at face value but the trends showing well above normal temperatures and far below normal rainfall certainly is cause for concern. Seriously, if this pans out it's a big problem for the central Midwest.
Now, I know this sounds like a doom and gloom forecast (which I am not about). All I do is read the cards and give my interpretation on the facts as I see them. Things can and do change and I'm seriously hoping they do. Fingers crossed.
Meantime, on a positive note which is always the way to wrap things up, Tuesday looks to be comfortable day with temperatures in the upper 70s to low 80s and dewpoints in the 40s. Highs will warm to the 80s after that but prospects for much in the way of rain hold off until the weekend. That's a wrap for now. Roll weather...TS
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