NEW MONTH, SAME LOOK...
We've opened the door to June but so far the month has the same look and feel of the last two weeks of May. We are in a remarkably persistent blocking pattern that shows little sign of breaking up the coming two weeks. About the only thing that changes is the position of the ridge which vacillates east and west. That ebb and flow in location and intensity results in some temperature fluctuations but for the majority of us means little in the way of rain chances.
Speaking of that, despite some localized downpours Friday (Burlington picked up 1.4"), Saturday will be the 15th consecutive day without any rain at the NWS office in NW Davenport. That is a remarkable streak but one that's problematic as grass, gardens, and fields are drying out on a rapid basis. Over the past 26 days, just 0.15" has been measured at DVN.
This is an interesting perspective as well. Despite most of my area starting out May with rains over 2 inches, the shut-down the remainder of the way made this the 119th driest out of 131 years in SE Iowa.
This larger view is really crazy in Nebraska where the SW part of the state had its wettest May on record while the SE experienced its 5th driest since 1893. You can clearly see the storm track was focused on the western Plains where the blue colors are concentrated.
And, right on cue water vapor in the coming week is forecast to look like this Wednesday night. By then northerly flow is restricting moisture in the corn belt while on the back side of the block, moisture is channeled into the Plains. Boy, does that look familiar.
Here's the omega block at 500mb that's responsible for restricting moisture and the forcing necessary for widespread rains.
On a positive note, the eastern trough does retrograde west next week allowing a back door cold front to penetrate the region. While this reinforces dry air, it does replace our heat with notably cooler temperatures. We go from 86-90 Saturday through Monday to the 70s next Wednesday.
Highs such as that are actually below normal by several degrees.
Unfortunately, the big high that builds over the Great Lakes will keep the focused rains well south and west with moisture off the Gulf of Mexico blocked. This is a simulated radar Wednesday evening of next week. Things are looking mighty quiet across the heartland.
Again, I need to stress that there are always little wrinkles and ripples that move through the atmosphere capable of setting off spotty showers and thunderstorms. However, in the big picture these are small mesoscale features that produce only localized pockets of rain. Some lucky locations may get some downpours, similar to the last couple of days but overall what I've seen today is not a pattern likely to produce widespread rain the next 10-14 days. Hopefully, something changes in the near future. Here's what the GFS indicates for rainfall departures the next 2 weeks.
With that in mind, prepare for a summer weekend with very warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine. Make it a good one and roll weather...TS
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