IT WON'T BE PRETTY, BUT IT MIGHT BE WORTH LOOKING AT....
Tuesday didn't win any awards for beauty with clouds obscuring the sun much of the day. It just had a dark feel, the kind of look you start seeing more and more of as fall kicks in and the days shorten. Here's what it looked like from outer space.
The overall appearance of our weather is not going to improve in coming days as a blocky pattern holds moisture and clouds in place through Friday. The good news is that the dreary skies may pay off by bringing rain to much of the area. While a few showers may show up in the south Wednesday afternoon, the better chances arrive Wednesday night when vorticity from a southern stream cut-off low spins into the region. That departs late Wednesday night and we may see a break from the showers until the next piece of energy arrives later Thursday and Thursday night. You can see in this 48 hour animation how the rain bands pivot in from the southeast as they rotate around the parent upper air low.
It's evident that the rains are banded in nature which is problematic in that how much rain falls in any given spot depends on whether you get under the heavier bands and how long they last. The best news I have to offer is that the EURO is stronger and further NW with the track of the system today and as a result is now heavier on totals, looking more like the GFS which I thought might be suspect yesterday. Ironically, the latest run of the GFS is lower on totals so who knows. Again, I throw caution into the mix here as recent system have underperformed, a common theme when you are in a dry cycle. I'll show you what models are indicating for amounts and we'll cross our fingers and hope for the best. It does look like the E/NE half of the area is favored for the heavier totals.
The Canadian GEM
The 3k NAM
The 12K NAM
The WPC totals. This is concerning as the outlier...it was producing the lowest amounts in the weekend system and turned out correct. Who knows...not me.
With mostly cloudy skies and periods of precipitation possible, highs Wednesday and Thursday are likely to stay in the range of the low to mid 70s...still well above normal. Friday we should see an uptick if readings.
Saturday a windy warm-up is on tap that should lead to highs reaching the low to mid 80s (perhaps upper 80s in a few spots over the west and south. I could still see a few spots near record highs around Cedar Rapids. Wind gusts of 30-35 mph will drive the late season warmth so hold onto you hat!
Sunday a cool front streaks across the region. That takes the edge of temperatures but it still looks to be a warm day with highs in the mid to upper 70s. As for rain with the front, the GFS shows some scattered showers and perhaps a thunderstorm or two. The EURO is dry. I think there's enough potential to mention about a 30 percent chance. Don't hold your breath. A better opportunity for rain is indicated late Monday or Monday night from a disturbance that forms along the stalled front and intensifies over the region.
Next week and into much of the long range period the Midwest will be influenced by a deep western U.S. trough. With a southwest flow at both the surface and aloft, warm air and moisture should be plentiful. There is a high confidence that temperatures will be well above normal and I would say at least moderate confidence precipitation will be too. I had talked a week ago about the blocking that was forecast to develop in Canada and how that improved our precipitation chances should that set-up evolve. I am still cautiously optimistic we can get some beneficial rain during the next couple of weeks. Here's the 8-14 day outlook from the Weather Prediction Center. I like it.
That's pretty much where we stand heading into hump-day. Make a good one and roll weather...TS
COMING UP IN THIS FIRDAY'S POST...
I also want to mention that my winter outlook will be out Friday morning. There's a lot of speculation going around that a decent winter is brewing. I'll throw my hat into the ring and see what I can do to sway you one way of the other. Right or wrong, I put a lot of work into it and I hope you will find it interesting and informative. Here's to plenty of white gold and a white Christmas. It's been awhile.