LOST IN THE SHUFFLE...
Lost in the shuffle of the 80-100 mph winds of Thursday's derecho was the fact the weekly drought index was released. If you've been following along it has worsened on a steady basis and the new data confirmed that most of my area in severe drought conditions. As of June 27th, 90.7 percent of the Midwest was considered abnormally dry. 64.7 percent was considered to be in either moderate, severe, or extreme drought.
You can clearly see how drought expanded from moderate to severe across eastern Iowa and central Illinois over the previous weeks assessment.
While some rain has helped my southern counites situation the past couple of days, Subsoil moisture still needs to be improved significantly before any drought classification is removed.
The reason we have seen some beneficial rains over the south is their proximity to the ring of fire. If you're just tuning in, the ring of fire resides on the northern periphery of a stable heat dome parked over the south-central U.S. Heat and moisture pool in this area creating extensive instability and an active playground for thunderstorms. By looking at rainfall estimates over the past 48 hours it's easy to pick out where the ring of fire was located by the arc of rain it produced from Nebraska and southern Iowa into Illinois.
In general, the placement of that boundary has been the catalyst for storms and it remains anchored near the Iowa Missouri border. Just as it has the past two days, the boundary will be the focus for additional thunderstorms and rain chances into early Sunday. The region most likely to be impacted has consistently shown to be near and south of I-80 (basically the southern half of my area). A few strong storms are possible there with gusty winds but the primary concern will be pockets of heavy rain with amounts of an inch or more. Defining the exact locations are next to impossible due to mesoscale details which won't be known until later Saturday morning.
The WPC rainfall outlook shows decent rains as far north as HWY 20 through Sunday morning.
However, the EURO keeps the heavier rains generally near and south of I-80. I am thinking that's the solution that makes the most sense with the instability and moisture tied up in convection over southern Iowa and northern Missouri.
Even where it rains it won't be a washout. Many dry hours will prevail along with warm muggy conditions. Highs should generally be in the low 80s Saturday due to passing clouds and some scattered storms in the south.
Looking out to the 4th of July holiday period, the weather looks warm and typically muggy Sunday through the 4th. Highs in the low to mid 80s Sunday should reach closer to 90 Monday and Tuesday. There could be a stray afternoon storm or two around the 4th but coverage looks limited and most areas should stay dry.
Have a fantastic holiday weekend everyone. Roll weather...TS
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