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SPLITTING THE DIFFERENCE...

The weekend got off to a sticky and somewhat active start. A disturbance imbedded in the NW flow started the day with showers and thunderstorms, some of which dumped more than an inch of rain. The heavies concentration of rain was southwest of a line that ran from Waterloo to the Quad Cities and on to Peoria. Northeast of that, amounts were much less.

One the storms fizzled and ended, sunshine pushed highs into the mid to upper 80s with dew points into the low 70s. That made for a sticky day but fortunately brisk W/SW winds up to 20 brought a bit of relief. Instability was also high after the initial storms but forcing for additional thunderstorms split the area with new development Friday evening near the Minnesota border or well to the south near the Missouri border.


Going forward, the rest of the weekend we'll find ourselves splitting the difference again with the active storm tracks remaining north or south of the central Midwest. That keeps Saturday and the daytime hours of Sunday dry and seasonally warm. Highs both days should peak in the low to mid 80s.


The next area of focus is a potent shortwave that forms a closed 500mb circulation as it digs into the upper Midwest Sunday night and Monday. It's a pretty impressive little feature for early August.

Along with significant upper air support, the disturbance will generate a healthy surface low that gets moisture in place for the primary dynamics and associated cold front to act on Sunday night. Showers and storms that form in central Iowa Sunday afternoon should spread eastward into the region Sunday night. While there is some potential for strong storms, that will be contingent on the speed of the front and the depth of the moisture return. If nothing else, there's hope for some beneficial rains in spots, especially over the north where they are most needed. You can also see the system has a nice surface reflection that will likely generate some wrap around rains Monday on its backside north of HWY 30.

After any lingering showers and clouds depart Monday night, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week look very nice with highs in the 70s and dew points down in the 50s. That's about as good as it gets no matter what the calendar says.


A ROUND OF HEAT?

Towards the end of next week a heat dome is expected to build into the Midwest. Both the EURO and GFS show it reaching formidable proportions. Here's the 500mb jet stream structure of both models around August 22nd.


The GFS

The EURO

The GFS has had major problems with its summer temperature algorithms since last year and those issues are evident again with highs that reach 116 as far north as Dubuque Monday the 21st. The models handling of mixing ratios are completely flawed leaving the model useless when it comes to forecasting temperature and dew points. In this case that's a good thing as many of the highs the GFS produces are at all-time records.

If by some freak chance the GFS were correct (which it isn't), temperatures of 30-35 degrees above normal would be widespread August 21st.

What impresses me more is the EURO popping upper 90s for several days with a 100 in Dubuque the 24th. That may be a bit on the warm side but I'm starting to think it could be representative of what we might see for several days in the period August 20-25th.

With that, I am calling it a post. Here's hoping you all have a terrific weekend. Roll weather...TS


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