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Saturday promises to be a toasty day, with the warmest temperatures of the year a good possibility. Under mostly sunny skies and SW winds, highs are expected to punch into the mid to upper 80s. Records are in the low 90s, so we come up a few degrees short of those. However, we will be about 15 degrees above normal and on par with highs typically seen in late July. The HRRR indicates these numbers around 4:00pm Saturday.

The more challenging aspect of Saturday will be the possibility of thunderstorms towards evening. That is when a weak cool front approaches from the west. Up until that time, capping suppresses storm development through the day. However, the cap allows a full day of heating and some CAPE to build ahead of the front.

The convective allowing models (known as CAMS), such as the 3K NAM and the HRRR, show enough forcing along the front for at least scattered thunderstorms through late evening. After that, instability decreases with the arrival of darkness and storms should rapidly decrease as they approach the Mississippi and point east. If storms fire, a few marginally strong ones are possible with gusty winds and spotty hail early in their life cycle. The best chance of storms appears to be in central and eastern Iowa, but even there they should be scattered and for the most part light rain producers. The simulated radar on the 3k NAM looks like this around 8:00pm Saturday evening.

Sunday, forcing from Saturday's weak front is long gone, but the remaining boundary turns stationary across far southern Iowa. With weak ridging in place, it means it's back to sunshine, dry weather, and another day of very warm readings. Highs of 80-85 are expected from north to south. Overall, it is going to be a great weekend, with only a small window for a storm Saturday evening in the NW. After that, things get much more active next week, and I'll have more on a severe storm threat below. Meantime, get your family or friends together and take advantage of the summer special I'm holding at my AIRBNB outside Galena.


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Starting late Sunday night, more likely Monday and Tuesday, the overall pattern gets energized and active. The northern stream amplifies and makes an attempt to phase with the southern stream over the high Plains. It creates a 500mb jet stream flow that looks like this at noon Tuesday.

Several disturbances will round the base of the trough, producing thunderstorm chances late Sunday night through Tuesday evening as they rotate northeast. At this distance it's very difficult to determine timing and intensity, but models have been fairly consistent in showing storms locally early Monday, again Monday night, and then again Tuesday, especially in the late afternoon and evening. By then moisture is flowing freely into the Midwest with dew points well into the mid and upper 60s. Temperatures remain far above normal, in the upper 70s to low 80s Monday and perhaps low to mid 80s Tuesday. That combination should produce significant instability, setting the table for strong storms and potentially heavy rain over the 2-day period.

As it stands now, Tuesday is the day when severe weather is most likely to occur. Big CAPE (instability), exists with the EURO depicting this by late afternoon.

That instability, combined with substantial shear and moisture, would make all modes of severe weather possible. Significant tornado hodographs are already shown. It's very early in the game, but if current trends continue to hold, this has the makings of a severe weather outbreak. Mesoscale details that won't be uncovered for at least 2-3 more days will ultimately determine if the potential is realized. SPC has already highlighted much of the surrounding area with a slight risk severe outlook, impressive this far in advance of any storms.

After a couple of calmer days following this event, another sizeable system could bring periods of showers and storms for next weekend, which of course is Memorial Weekend. Before we get serious about that situation, there's a lot of weather to get through first. Enjoy the warmest day of the year so far and by all means, roll weather...TS.


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