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For many of us, it was a long dry summer. Beneficial rains were hard to come by on any sort of a regular basis. From time to time, a nice rain would fall only to be followed by 2-3 weeks of dry weather before another opportunity even occurred. The deficits have steadily mounted and for much of eastern Iowa and NW Illinois they have reached 7-14 inches since May 1st.

These are very significant departures and the need for more in the rain bucket is huge before the cold of winter settles in. That is why we are looking hopefully at guidance which suggests a wetter period may be in the offering over the Midwest the next 1-2 weeks. Here's what several models are suggesting for rainfall totals through October 4th. All of these indicate wet weather in the central U.S. but differ in its location. You can see the varying solutions below. I'll discuss my thoughts on the situation later in the post.



The Canadian GEM


The first volley in what appears to be several rain opportunities impacted the region Tuesday. Most of the beneficial rainfall amounts in my area (some exceeding 1/2 inch), were found near and north of I-80. Further west in central Iowa, some impressive 3-5 inch totals were welcomed near Des Moines and Ames. These are the Doppler estimates through Tuesday evening.

Going forward, additional rain chances will be found centered around a complex interaction of moisture and multiple rounds of forcing. The entire long term period currently has daily chances of showers and storms through Monday of next week but the latest short term guidance has backed down on coverage and amounts. This idea is so fresh it will need to be confirmed in additional runs later Wednesday. That said, I would not be surprised if the trend has merit.

The complicating factor is the disagreement among models regarding the track of the upper air low and its forcing. There has been a signal for more of a northeast jog which could keep much of the lift for storms to the west through at least Saturday. Such a trend would lower rain chances and overall coverage Wednesday through Sunday. Confidence in any one solution is low and it will take a couple more days before the mesoscale details of the pattern are resolved. I was much more optimistic on widespread heavier rain potential earlier Tuesday than I am after tonight.

No matter what, above normal temperatures will be likely into the weekend , especially at night. Lows in the 60s are expected Thursday through Monday with highs reaching the mid 70s to at least the low 80s a couple of days. Mid 80s are not out of the question Saturday if the rain holds off and sunshine can break through.

In summation, the pattern looks unsettled much of the next 7 days. While the potential for rain exists everyday, not everyone will see it on a daily basis and what falls could very well be scattered and light in nature through Friday. Overall, the set-up looks rather summery with mild temperatures, some humidity, and enough instability to drive the threat of hit and miss showers and storms. The devil will be in the details which will be fine tuned in coming days. Hopefully we can make up for some lost rain!

Happy hump day and roll weather...TS



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