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How do you spell relief. No, it's not ROLAIDS. It's back-door-cold front. An area of high pressure dipped into the Great Lakes Sunday turning the winds in from the E/NE. That innocuous development generated a mini cold front just strong enough to spread slightly cooler and drier air into the region Monday. It was expected and while not dramatically cooler, it put the impending heat wave on hold for 24 hours.

The impacts of the front were most pronounced in the north where at noon Monday readings were in the 70s near and north of HWY 20 with mid 80s further south closer to I-80.

Even more dramatic were the dew points which were near 80 in central Iowa but only at 63 in Dubuque.

Look at the difference that was making with heat index values pushing 100 in central Iowa, a good 20 degrees higher than was was being felt in Dubuque.

Unfortunately, the high is on the move and as it slides east, the wind circulation around it turns back to the SW. That opens the door for the heat and humidity of Sunday to make another run at the Midwest Tuesday, with decidedly stronger impacts Wednesday-Thursday.

An EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING is in effect for the entire area Tuesday and Wednesday. Beyond that, an excessive heat watch is posted for Thursday that will likely be upgraded to a warning in the next 24 hours. More details from the NWS below.

...EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM CDT WEDNESDAY... ...EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY EVENING THROUGH THURSDAY EVENING... * WHAT...For the Excessive Heat Warning, dangerously hot conditions with heat index values around 110 to 115. For the Excessive Heat Watch, dangerously hot conditions with heat index values up to 110 possible. * WHERE...Portions of northwest and west central Illinois, east central and southeast Iowa and northeast Missouri. * WHEN...For the Excessive Heat Warning, until 9 PM CDT Wednesday. For the Excessive Heat Watch, from Wednesday evening through Thursday evening. * IMPACTS...Extreme heat and humidity will significantly increase the potential for heat related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities.

Excessive heat warnings are the highest form of heat related advisories and the NWS reminds you that conditions such as this need to be taken seriously. Check on the elderly, make sure pets are properly ventilated and watered. If you are doing strenuous work outside, take frequent breaks and drink plenty of fluids. Extreme heat is the number-one weather-related cause of death in the U.S., and it kills more people most years than hurricanes, floods and tornadoes combined.

Here's a few NWS tips worth reviewing when it comes to safely enduring heatwaves.

It remains to be seen if we reach the century mark with this bout of heat but the EURO continues to point to that possibility Wednesday and Thursday. Here's what the EURO indicates for highs each day.

Wednesday highs

Thursday highs

Highs around 100 are approaching records so that possibility is on the table as well for both days. Here's the current records for the major reporting stations in my area.

What is likely to make this especially dangerous are the dew points which several models indicate reaching 80 degrees Wednesday.

Those dew points combined with highs near 100 would create scorching heat index values that on the 3k NAM reach as high as 123 degrees Wednesday. That is as a really tropical air mass by Midwest standards. Hopefully the 3k is a good 5-10 degrees too hot on the heat index values it portrays.

Beginning Friday the heat dome is expected to slowly break down as a cool front inches southward into the region. Friday still looks toasty though with highs in the range of 88 north to 94 south. The speed of the front will dictate how soon the cooler air arrives. That will need to be monitored. By Saturday there is good agreement the front is far enough south to bring highs back into the 80s areawide. Humidity levels will also be significantly lower. Amen to that.

Despite the passage of the late week front, weak forcing and a strong CAP (warm air aloft) is expected to limit the development of showers and storms, Both the EURO and GFS show little if any rainfall in both the short and long term periods. Here's the rainfall deficits the GFS indicates over the next 16 days ending September 7th. It appears the potential is there for well below normal precipitation over a large portion of the central U.S.

Again, some intense heat is on the way but Tuesday is just a stepping stone for the worst of it which appears to be setting up for Wednesday. Keep your cool and roll weather...TS



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