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To start things out I'm sharing a photo I took Sunday evening in McCausland, Iowa. It was such a great day that Carolyn and I decided to take Nimbus (the weather dog) to a nice little park on the edge of town. There was no one around but a bunch of geese. We let him of the leash where he could run like the wind and feel as free as the geese. While he wore himself out Carolyn and I battled it out in a couple games of Yahtzee on a hard but well built picnic table. She whipped me twice and then claimed a victory in backgammon. Not my day! By then the sun was fading and as we were headed for the car, this amazing sunset came over us. We all just stood there (even Nimbus) and soaked it in. There are occasions when you feel a much larger presence in the universe and this was one of those moments. If you look close you can even see Venus just above the trees on the's unmistakable this time of year. The picture does not do the moment justice but at the time I remarked to myself, is this heaven, no it's Iowa, McCausland freaking Iowa. I'm so thankful to be back where I belong and to have lived such an amazing life.

In case you hadn't noticed, Monday was a pretty warm day. Cedar Rapids hit 89 and tied the record high for the date last set in 1954. Moline reached 88 missing its record of 90 set in 1990 by 2 degrees.

Monday was the 2nd consecutive day with highs in the 80s and if the EURO verifies parts of the area could be in for a run of 6 to perhaps 7 consecutive days with highs of 80 or above.

Below you can see the daily frequency of any particular day participating within a stretch of 7 consecutive days with highs 80 degrees or warmer. As you can see such a run is rare indeed this late in September.

I also started looking at how warm temperatures have been the past 4 months and found that in Cedar Rapids, 79 out of 119 days have had highs that were normal or above since June 1st. That's 66 percent of the time (or a ratio of 2 out of every 3 days).

The ratio was the same at the NWS office in the Quad Cities where 78 of the 199 days met that threshold.

As I alluded to, we will certainly see at least another 3 days of 80 degree warmth and could run that out even longer. The deciding factor will be clouds and precipitation chances, an order of business where the GFS and EURO continue to agree to disagree.

At the earliest, rain is not depicted until Thursday afternoon or evening when the GFS brings it in. The EURO holds off until Saturday afternoon. Without the heavier clouds and precipitation the EURO holds onto the warmer temperatures substantially longer. My thinking now is that the GFS is too fast in lifting what could be a closed low into the upper Midwest. These types of systems are traditionally slower than models depict being displaced a bit from the main westerlies (hence the term cut-off). Additionally easterly winds and dry air will need to be overcome before saturation can occur which leads me to buy into the slower solution of the EURO. No way to know this early, just my feeling. One thing is for sure, when rain does arrive it could fall in my counties west of the Mississippi for a day or more before it crosses the river into Illinois. Here's the difference in models in terms of total precipitation through mid-day Saturday. The GFS is roughly 2 days faster than the EURO in bringing in the rain.



No matter how it all shakes out, both models do get rainfall into the picture at some point in the weekend and by the time it exits, these are the totals currently indicated. Any rain that falls would be more than welcome north of I-80 where there are some very dry locations. I saw it first hand in northern Scott County Sunday. One thing is evident and that's the fact the further east you go in my area the lighter the rainfall amounts. The GFS has really backed off on totals in its most recent run which fits with my thinking.

The GFS rainfall totals through Monday.

The EURO totals for the same period.

Two other things of interest are the blocking that is shown developing in Canada in the 7-14 day period. It looks like this at 500mb. (The red constitutes the block)

If it forms that is going to force storms to cut underneath and potentially gets the Midwest into a period where we may get an active storm track for a lengthy period of time. That would also bode well for additional precipitation long range and both the EURO and GFS actually show above normal precipitation totals in its 15-16 day anomalies. Been a while since I've seen that. I would caution the optimism with the saying, in times of drought, signs of precipitation don't pan out. Hopefully this is the time when we put a dent in the dryness that has plagued much of the area all year long.


The other thing to watch is a powerful typhoon that is projected to pass east of Japan in the next few days. Misses to the east of the island often result in downstream troughs over the eastern half of the lower 48 in the 6-10 day time frame. The implications of such a trough would be significantly cooler temperatures if it develops with any degree of amplitude. To date models are sort of wishy washy on this feature but since the data is not deeply engrained in the grids yet it may show up more in future runs. Something to keep a watchful eye on.

With that, I expect another stellar fall day Tuesday with temperatures at summery levels. They won't be quite as warm as Monday due to a weak front that turns winds to the east and drops readings by about 5-6 degrees. That should mean highs around 80 in the far north to the low to mid 80s elsewhere. The frontal passage will be dry with little in the way of clouds and certainly no rain. Readings bounce right back up Wednesday with highs well into the 80s, perhaps pushing 90 in a few spots. Enjoy and as always, roll weather...TS.