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Believe it or not, summer officially arrives today at 9:58 A.M. That is the moment the earth's tilt toward the sun is at a maximum. For every place north of the Tropic of Cancer, the sun is at its highest point in the sky resulting in the longest day of the year. After that, slowly but surely we begin to lose daylight as the long journey towards winter begins! Bye bye spring, hello summer!

For sure the next few days are going to feel like summer. The blocking pattern is alive and well and while it will be a slow process, it breaks down enough to allow temperatures to potentially reach the highest levels of the year this weekend. Here's what the EURO indicates for highs Saturday ahead of our next weather maker. Pre-system warming and dew points which mix out into the 50s will allow temperatures to soar into the low to mid 90s, especially with the very dry soil conditions and minimal evapotranspiration from crops. The EURO even pops some upper 90s down south.

With 4 more days of sunshine and temperature near to above 90 ahead, more stress will be heaped on the corn and beans around the region. I see in Iowa's crop report Monday that 70 percent of Iowa's topsoil is rated as short to very short on moisture. 20 percent is rated as very short.

My counties in Iowa which are considered the east-central and southeast districts, are the two worst in the state for soil moisture. In SE Iowa 57 percent is very short on top soil moisture with 37 percent short. Subsoil moisture is 26 percent very short and 64 percent short. In EC Iowa 30 percent is very short on top soil moisture and 53 percent short. Subsoil moisture is 25 percent very short and 53 percent short.

Here the breakdown of the various agricultural districts across Iowa.

The next hope for rain comes with a short wave that rides into the upper Midwest Saturday night. As it stands now, the track through Minnesota means the best forcing is likely to be north of my region. There is a quick return of moisture ahead of the system Saturday that gets PWAT's (water vapor) over 1.25 inches by evening. However, with 850 temperatures of +22 there is potentially a cap to overcome, especially the further south you go in my region. If the forcing along the surface front is strong enough to break the cap some storms could fire in central Iowa in the evening and then try to advance east. If they do, the next issue is timing. If the front comes through too late Saturday night instability will have diminished and the storms could fizzle, weaken, and die before getting much in the way of rain into my area. To me my northern and western counties have the best chances of seeing anything meaningful in the current set-up and I'm not very confident about that yet. Anyway, mesoscale details will be essential to rain chances and it will be a couple more days before we start to see clearer potential and timing. Stand by. Meantime, the EURO and GFS show this for rain Saturday night through Sunday morning.



Once this system departs somewhat cooler weather settles in Monday and Tuesday along with another round of dry weather. Of note, most long range models due indicate a ridge forming over the south-central U.S. mid to late next week. That could mean a couple of days of very hot temperatures. CPC shows a slight risk of excessive heat reaching the region sometime during the period June 28th-July 3rd and we will be watching that.

Another off-shoot of the ridge could be a ring of fire set-up somewhere in the central Midwest. It's impossible to say where this will occur but if we could reside on the northern periphery of the heat that is an ideal spot for nocturnal convection which often times results in MCS clusters that dump heavy rain. That's something we typically see in June but have had no instances of this year. Fingers crossed on that potential.

That will do it for now. Enjoy the fist day of summer. It has a way of being over with before you know it! Roll weather...TS




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