NOW THAT WAS SPECIAL...
Well, in my opinion it was special! Tuesday's weather could have passed for mid-June. Highs in most spots cracked 80 and with dew points in the low to mid 60s, we really had that summery feeling going on. Dubuque broke its record high at 79 and Cedar Rapids with 82 tied its existing mark. By the way both of those records were originally set in 1899...124 years ago! (Most other locations were within a degree or two). The NWS put this out.
Here's some of the departures at 1:00pm Tuesday showing readings 25 degrees above normal!
You can see how widespread the warmth was across the central and eastern U.S.
This is the 500mb storm track that was driving the warmth. I don't see much change in this set-up until later Friday. That means above normal temperatures until then!
This pattern also brings vast amounts of moisture into the central U.S. with PWAT's (available water vapor) expected to exceed 1.50 inches Thursday. That's 300-400 percent above the current norms. You could really feel the humidity (water vapor) Tuesday and that will remain a feature until a cold front hits Friday.
Through Tuesday evening most of the heavier rains have managed to avoid my area as evidenced by Doppler radar estimates.
A disturbance moving NE has brought some showers to the area overnight, these were most concentrated SE of the Quad Cities. These are expected to exit early Wednesday and that should leave us with just a few spotty showers the remainder of the day. It will again be mild and somewhat muggy for late October. Highs will be dictated by the extent of cloud cover. Most areas should at least hit 70 with the potential for higher numbers if there's more sunshine than currently expected.
Wednesday night and Thursday a more organized system tracks through NW Iowa. This time forcing appears to be more focused on the NW half of my area. There's a good chance of widespread showers and a few thunderstorms, especially NW of the Quad Cities. Temperatures remain mild Thursday with highs of 65 NW to 75 SE.
Friday the jury is out as to how fast a cold front moves through the region. The CAMs are a little quicker with the GFS and EURO showing the front reaching the Quad Cities around 2:00pm. Look at the temperature contrast that results.
Readings in NC Iowa are in the upper 30s while low 80s precede the front in EC Illinois. (Roughly a 45 degree contrast). Some showers and storms could exist ahead of the front but will quickly end once it passes.
On average, most spots have a decent chance of seeing 1/2 to an inch of rain between now and Friday. A few places could exceed 1.50.
THAT'S THE END OF THE PARTY...
Once the front departs that's the end of the party and most likely the last time we will see temperatures this warm for multiple months. The cold dense air will ooze SE as a 1040 Arctic high builds into the northern Rockies. Saturday morning most of us start in the 30s and only recover to the mid and upper 40s with mostly cloudy skies.
Saturday night the EURO shows a wave traveling up the cold front situated in the Ohio Valley. It seems strong enough to kick up another band of showers but how how extensive and far north is the question. The GFS keeps most of the rain further SE. Both models have been consistent in their solutions and it is an important factor to resolve in the sense the EURO changes the cold rain to snow or mixed rain and snow for a brief time in the NW Sunday. It's not showing much for accumulations but hey, snow is snow!
Needless to say this issue will need to be watched in coming days. I can see it working both ways depending on the depth and penetration of the cold air. Sunday looks raw with highs upper 30s to low 40s.
If this initial situation does not produce snowflakes Sunday, the cold air the EURO drives overhead Monday and Halloween will generate some significant instability and I would think snow showers or flurries will be scattered about then. These are 850 temperatures on the EURO (Just 5,000 ft. up).
Minus 12 C. in my area is 17-19 degrees below what's typical at that level. 0 C. at 850 (or colder) is what we look for to get snowflakes to the ground. That is a dang cold air mass for October.
Next Monday both the GFS and EURO show the day starting with temperatures in the 20s. A hard freeze is coming.
Wind chills are well into the teens. In fact, if you take Tuesday's highs in the low 80s and and compare that to the wind chills next Monday, it will feel roughly 65 degrees colder. Need I say more!
Here's what CPC is showing for 6-10 day temperatures. That looks pretty close to me.
I will close with this. There is a bunch of weather coming our way the next 5 days. Were are literally going from summer conditions to early winter in a matter of 2-3 days. About the only thing I don't see is much in the way of severe thunderstorms. Other than that, we're in for a smorgasbord. Eat it up and roll weather...TS
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