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It's was a true luxury for me over the holiday weekend not to have to worry about rain on the radar and its impacts on people's plans. But now that we've gone 2 weeks without rain (3 weeks in some spots), I'm watching my brilliant green yard of two weeks ago fade to a much lighter shade. Several people have reported cracks in the ground and the garden needs watering daily. I can imagine farmers are feeling the angst as well.

When you look back at May in the Quad Cities, the month got off to the traditional wet start May is known for. Up until May 15th rainfall was above normal thanks to more than 2 inches that fell the 7th and 8th. However, since the 8th the spigot has gone dry and only one day since has rain fallen. The monthly total is stuck at 2.42". The last measurable rain amounted to .15" on the 19th and we are now going into our 13th consecutive day with without as much as a drop.

In Des Moines the NWS there indicates no rain has been reported since the 15th. The string of 16 days marks only the third time since 1987 they have gone more than 2 weeks without measurable rain in May or June. 2012 was one of those years and according to Harry Hillaker the state climatologist at the time, it led to the worst Iowa drought since 1936 (the dust bowl). SPC is concerned about the rapid onset of drought in much of the central Midwest. They say there is "flash drought" potential.

For the summer months of 1936 (June-August), rainfall across Iowa averaged just 6.99 inches. That's about 40% of normal.

Along with that years drought, searing heat baked Iowa, especially in July. The summer as a whole was the hottest on record for the state.

In the Quad Cities the temperature reached 100°F and above for a record eleven consecutive days July 5 to July 11. People had to cope with the extreme heat without the benefit of air-conditioning. The all-time high and high minimum temperatures for the Quad Cities were recorded on July 14th when the mercury reached a sizzling 111.3°F and only dropped to a low of 84°F. 1936 remains the warmest summer on record in the QCA with an average temperature of 78.8 degrees. July of ’36 is also the warmest month on record with an average temperature of 85 degrees.

The intensity of the heat was so bad that many slept outdoors where lows near 80 were substantially cooler than the interior of homes with no air conditioning!

I'm in no way saying the coming summer will be anything like 1936, but it and 2012 are analogs that point to a potentially hot dry summer ahead. The longer we go without breaking this dry cycle, the better the chance for those types of conditions to prevail. It's very much on my "radar".


The latest guidance continues to show an upper air pattern dominated by a rex block featuring troughs in the east and west with ridging (high pressure) centered over the upper Midwest. The flow inches far enough east late week to allow a slow increase in moisture. On the animation below you can see water vapor increase the next the next 48 hours before decreasing again this weekend as the pattern retrogrades to the west.

With the addition of moisture and warm temperatures, some instability results Thursday and especially Friday when CAPE reaches levels greater than 500j/kg.

That should be sufficient for at least widely scattered diurnal thunderstorms, especially late in the day and evening. However, forcing is weak and capping could be an issue. If storms can pop coverage would likely to be low. While a spot or two could get a nice downpour, most areas will see little if any rain. If you want it, here's hoping your luck is running high. The EURO indicates this for rain totals the next 10 days.

Even with the spotty rain potential, the EURO continues to show a massive area of below normal rainfall over much of the central and eastern U.S. the next 10 days.

What we really need is a front to stall over the region for an extended period of time. That puts us in the baroclinic zone where storms like to play. Typically that happens in early June so at least from a climatology standpoint we have that going in our favor long term.

As for temperatures, the EURO remains very much on the toasty side the next 10 days.

In stark contrast, the GFS which has been verifying several degrees low on temperatures recently has another back door front by Tuesday of next week. That really takes the edge off the heat. I don't see much support for that and I suspect the GFS is too aggressive and too far west with the cooling.

So basically, look for more of the same Wednesday with highs in the upper 80s to near 90. Rains a goner, what a yawner! That will will put an end to May on a summery note. Why not. Roll weather...TS


Due to a cancellation my Airbnb, "The Little White Church of Galena" is available this weekend (June 2nd & 3rd). To fill the space I'm ready to deal. The listed Airbnb price is $1,315. Make me an offer! The highest bid gets the stay. Bidding begins at $650-half price for the whole weekend.

The Church is fully renovated, has beds for 10 and 3 full baths. There's WIFI, 4 TV's, a full kitchen, and AC, which will come in handy with this weekend's weather! You can even bring Fido, as we are pet friendly.

All of our reviews have been perfect 5 star scores. Last weekend's guests' say "the place is super clean with a spacious private backyard, great kitchen, clean bathrooms and baths...we would highly recommend this place!

Grab another couple or two and you've got a very affordable stay at a 5 star Galena accommodation at one of the premier travel destinations in the Midwest. Close to golfing, wineries, and all Galena has to offer.

Call Carolyn with questions at 563-676-3320 or submit your bid to Hope to see you soon. T.Swails

Here's a link with some pictures...


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