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South winds gusting 25-30 mph brought another very warm day to the region Tuesday. While some scattered clouds showed up in the afternoon, there was again ample sunshine that allowed highs to reach the mid to upper 80s. For some perspective, norms are in the upper 60s. While it will take a couple more days to unfold, a big change is coming as evidenced by the cool air building out west.

The energy that will bring an end to the summery conditions lifts out of the west and morphs into a closed cold core low over the Great Lakes this weekend. You can see the evolution of the set-up in the animation below.

As the process unfolds, two cold fronts will cross the Midwest. The first arrives Wednesday afternoon and is more of a wind shift line. The second Thursday night is the real deal bringing bringing gusty winds, instability showers, and a pronounced drop in temperatures.

Showers and storms developed with the initial front out west Tuesday evening. Overnight they are expected to weaken considerably as they enter my western counties towards daybreak. What's left, scattered showers or sprinkles will push east and fizzle Wednesday morning. Later in the afternoon as the cold front heads east of the Mississippi, some new showers and storms could form but most models indicate only the far south and east would have a crack at these. In general, rain is expected to be quite light areawide and may miss some spots altogether. The best case scenario would be around 1/10th of an inch. For most the showers will do little more than settle the dust and will not do anything to alleviate the ongoing drought.

While temperatures will be cooler the next couple days, they will remain well above normal in the upper 70s to low 80s Wednesday and the mid to upper 70s Thursday.


Thursday night it's game on for the plunge as the strong cold front races southeast. Winds will increase out of the NW and by daybreak Friday temperatures will be back in the 40s. Readings may actually hold steady or even slowly fall Friday afternoon. At 4:00pm Friday temperatures are expected to be 25-30 degrees cooler than what they were just 24 hours earlier.

Here's your wind chills Friday evening. Those high school football games will require the coat and I would not forget the gloves.

The cold air Friday will no doubt be associated with low stratus and instability showers. They will be brief and light but rest assured this is going to be a radical change after the upper 80s and low 90s of recent days. Between the showers Wednesday and Friday, this is what models are suggesting for total rain.



And how about this. The EURO even shows just a bit of wet snow in SE Minnesota to about the Iowa border Friday. About 10 days ago I included in one of my posts a graphic that also showed snow in this general area, a low confidence call at that distance. Even now it's going to be a marginal set-up but 850 temps are shown hitting -2 and that can get the job done. It would be nothing more than a taste but snowflakes or not, it is a sign seasonal changes are underway!

There is also the question of frost to address Friday night and Saturday night. The threat is highly conditional on winds and clouds and the position of the high pressure ridge. I would say Saturday night has the best chance but even that may not materialize. For now I look for upper 30s to around 40 Friday night and mid to upper 30s Saturday night. (If things were to come together right some low 30s might be possible in the NE). Here's what the GFS indicates for lows Saturday night.

Highs over the weekend will be restricted to the 50s Saturday but should get back into the low 60s Sunday. Readings will likely hold in the low 60s Monday and Tuesday with the pattern blocked in NW flow by the upper air low over the NE Great Lakes. Following Friday's showers, the pattern looks relatively dry through at least Friday of next week.

That is all for now. If you like variety in your weather, the next few days should make you happy. Have a solid day and roll weather...TS



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