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The changing of the guard. It happens every year, it's just a matter of when. The first big cold front arrives that screams, "crap, it's not summer anymore"! The wind, the chill, the swirling leaves are all an unmistakable sign, the push to winter is on. All hail fall.

The front that's causing the commotion has been racing southeast overnight. At 7:00am Friday morning the leading edge of the cold air has penetrated much of Missouri and Illinois with readings shown in the low 40s in most areas.

Gusty NW winds will be well on their way to gusts over 30 mph. That means wind chills Friday morning should be in the mid to upper 30s.

The 7:00am surface map also shows clouds and instability showers spinning southeast. These will be scattered about the area Friday, especially by late morning and afternoon as instability increases. Temperatures should make it back into the 50s by noon only to fall again later in the day as the combination of strong cold air advection and showers drives reading back into the 40s north to near 50 south.

At 7:00pm Friday, these are the projected temperatures around 45-50.

In fact, much of the afternoon Friday readings will be 25-30 degrees colder than just 24 hours earlier.

As for rainfall, the showers that are found Friday and early Friday evening will be fast movers and very much on the light side. With steep lapse rates a few stray thunderstorms are possible in the early afternoon. A few places could manage 1/10th of an inch but in most spots amounts of .01 to .03" will do it for rainfall. Here's what the EURO has for rain totals.

The 3k NAM has this.

Sadly that won't help the drought ridden areas of eastern Iowa. The latest drought monitor shows much of the eastern third of the state in severe to exceptional drought.

Currently 95.75 percent of Iowa is considered to be in either, moderate, severe, extreme, or exceptional drought.

From the Mississippi River west soil moisture anomalies are very significant. We need rain!

As you can see, this is the third year in a row corn yields in Iowa have been affected by some degree of drought.

Unfortunately, after Friday's showers, rain chances are slim until the middle of the coming week. The strong NW flow aloft will keep temperatures cool and block moisture from entering the region.

There is a healthy system indicated towards Thursday of next week but I am concerned the blocking over the Great Lakes will force the heavier rains further south. My southern counties are in play but I would not hang my hat on that possibility yet. Here's what the EURO currently indicates for rain 7 days in advance of the system.

Last but not least, with periods of clouds rotating in and out of the area through Sunday, it does not appear we will get be able to achieve maximum radiational cooling which would involve clear skies and light winds. That should keep temperatures in the 36 to 40 degree range Saturday morning. Thus, only scattered light frost is a possibility in the north. Certainly no freeze.

Next week with the block allowing high pressure to build, a more widespread frost potential could evolve. If skies can clear either Sunday night or Monday night, some lows in the low to mid 30s are possible. Something to keep in mind, especially in those favored cold air drainage locations.

Have a fantastic Friday despite the frisky temperatures! Roll weather...TS



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