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QUIET AS A MOUSE, DRY AS A BONE...

As a meteorologist, if you're really into your job there's nothing worse than dry weather. If I wanted that, I'd make my living in a dad gum desert. I've been back in the Midwest now going on seven months and outside of about three weeks it's been more like the Sahara. As bad as it was during most of the summer and fall, this period we are in now might just take the cake. Since October 30th, Burlington, Iowa has seen measurable rain on just 2 of the last 29 days including today. (All told, it's amounted to .17 of an inch). While amounts are slightly higher further north, most spots are going on 2 weeks without measurable precip. Quiet as a mouse and bone dry, that doesn't work for me!

Now if there is one part of the area that could afford a stretch of dry weather it is Burlington. As you can see they are part of that region south of I-80 where their has been abundant rain. Here you can see the departures since January 1st and the differences between the have's and have not's is striking. North of I-80 deficits of 8-12 inches are common (that's me) while to the south 7-11 inch surpluses are widespread.

Getting back to the recent stretch of rain free weather, it has increased the coverage of moderate drought conditions across the northern half and is beginning to take a toll on topsoil moisture further south.

The prognosis for rain is not good either with amounts on the GFS and EURO far from encouraging. Little if anything falls over the next 7 days and it's possible some areas could go more than 21 consecutive days (or longer) without measurable rain or snow before anything substantial falls. The GFS show this for rain totals through December 3rd.

The EURO has this for the same period.

As far as temperatures go, we remain in a progressive pattern that features significant spreads (or ups and downs). We've been seeing this for several weeks and are just now coming out of a cold surge that saw lows Friday morning of 8 in Cedar Rapids and 13 in the Quad Cities. Now we start heading up. This is no surprise as I've been pointing out with the MJO moving into phase 6. Temperature anomalies in 6 look like this.

You can see the trend for warmth while we are in phase 6 with several days in the 50s and perhaps a high near 60 December 2nd. But, stop right there, look what happens December 4-6th when the MJO enters phase 7. Currently the EURO indicates a high of 21 December 6th. The danger here is that the MJO fails to reach seven or does so with minimal amplitude. That would certainly temper the cold.

Even if the cold comes as depicted by both the GFS and EURO, they indicate another round of warmth is possible in mid December as lower pressure returns to Alaska at that time. That's really concerning to me as the window closes for December to bring the cold I had envisioned much of the past 2 months. With that, I wrap this post up in a bow. Now that Thanksgiving is over I'm all in for Christmas. Have a fine weekend and roll weather...TS


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