MORE WHERE THAT CAME FROM...
The first phase of our Major fall storm has come and gone. With it a significant rain fell on the northern half of my area where 2-3 inch totals were common near HWY 30. Aside from that, much of the region between HWY 20 and I-80 saw amounts of 3/4 inch to 2 inches. Garden Plain, Illinois just SE of Clinton managed 3.20 inches and Morrison, Illinois received 2.65.
As you can see, SE Iowa and WC Illinois (roughly south of a line from Washington, Iowa to Galesburg, Illinois), saw little if any rain which was disappointing but expected. Hopefully the next round Friday will deliver the goods further south.
Here's another perspective of the heavy rain band from Nebraska and Iowa into Illinois.
The rain developed along and north of a warm front attached to a deepening surface low in the central Plains. The system looked like this late Thursday on the hi-res satellite image. Notice the warm front positioned just south of I-80 and the sunshine south of it.
Look at the impacts the warm front and sunshine had on temperatures, something we talked about in my previous post. Late Thursday afternoon reading in my area ranged from 53 in Dubuque (where I am) to 78 in Burlington, 120 miles south as the crow flies. Talk about a change of seasons!
The warm front and the progression of the surface low pressure center will hold the key to the forecast the next 48 hours. According to the EURO, the warm front moves very little and acts as the boundary for the low to track east across Iowa Friday. Around 7:00pm it's shown a little south of Iowa City.
A complicated scenario exists Friday where the low level jet and a wing of forcing arrives out ahead of the cold front which lags behind. That spreads a swath of rain through the area during the morning which at times could produce some healthy downpours. Once this forcing departs there should be a lull in the afternoon where rain becomes scattered and even stops across the south. This is where things become problematic. Some guidance indicates a dry slot cutting into SE Iowa and WC Illinois ahead of the surface low and triple point. That could allow some breaks for sunshine sending highs in the far south into the upper 60s to low 70s. Additionally, dew points are expected to reach the low 60s.
The moisture and warmth would generate instability which is measured and shown below in CAPE.
Should that evolve, there would be a small window where severe thunderstorms could erupt ahead of the cold front and surface low. Winds near the warm front would be backed generating low level shear for some low topped supercells. While wind and hail would be the primary concerns until nightfall, there could be a couple of brief tornado spin-ups in SE Iowa. Again, this is a very conditional set-up based on heating. We won't know the mesoscale details until Friday morning.
The 3k NAM does show such an event with a bowing line of broken convection around 7:00pm moving into SE Iowa.
North of the warm front Friday, the initial wave of morning rain departs leaving much of the afternoon blustery and chilly. Highs north of HWY 30 will likely struggle again to get out of the low to mid 50s. This is what the GFS shows from north to south, probably too warm in the far north near HWY 20.
Friday night the surface low advances east and approaches Chicago by Saturday morning. Once it gets into Illinois wrap around showers will return and linger into at least Saturday morning, most prevalent in the north. These will be light but with gusty N/NE winds and near steady temperatures in the upper 40s to low 50s north to the low to mid 50s south, it will feel plenty raw.
As for additional rain, here's what guidance is suggesting through Saturday evening.
The 12K NAM
The 3k NAM
The NBM (National Blend of Models)
WPC (Weather Prediction Center)
By Sunday, the showers are gone (maybe a stray one or two) but the clouds, brisk winds, and cold remains. Highs to close out the weekend look to be around 50-55.
That's a wrap for now. Have a great weekend despite what's coming. Roll weather...TS
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