THE OLD SQUEEZE PLAY...
Models have been on again, off again with the development of a wet storm system passing through the Midwest this weekend. The latest trends are still not wild with rainfall amounts but they have shown a slight uptick in that regard, an important detail when every raindrop counts. In the end, the old squeeze play will determine what we can wring out of this complex multi-day scenario. Friday's rains were beneficial for select spots but from here on out I have my doubts about how much more we can squeeze out.
Before I get to that, this system formed a boundary Friday that laid out across my southern counties (south of I-80). In that area sunshine and a lack of rain sent temperatures into the mid 80s . North of the front, warm air advection showers and a cloud canopy kept readings significantly cooler. These were temperatures late Friday afternoon. The east west boundary is evident close to I-80.
More important, the lift provided by the warm air advection was able to go to work on the very moist air in place that featured water vapor over 1.50" in spots. While spotty in nature, some heavy downpours occurred near and north of I-80 Tuesday. The greatest concentration of heavier showers was noted off to the southeast of the Quad Cities where some 2" plus totals were found. Amounts west of the river were far more scattered in nature. The Doppler estimates show where the big winners were located through late Friday evening.
The remainder of the weekend the system slowly spins southeast from the Plains into the Midwest. Moisture will circulate around the closed upper air feature. Vorticity will also rotate around the upper low providing periods of forcing for scattered showers and thunderstorms into Tuesday of next week. There will be dry hours interspersed with the rain so a total washout is unlikely. However, with high water vapor heavy downpours are possible in spots for at least short periods of time. Clouds will likely be plentiful as well with all the low level moisture in place. Below you can see the pockets of rain as they develop and spin around the center of circulation over the eastern Dakotas.
The day with the lowest rain chances is Saturday with the best forcing indicated west of my area. That should keep things dry and also make it to be the warmest day with periods of sunshine allowing highs of 80 north to 85 south.
The time frame with the highest rain chances appears to be late Saturday night and Sunday ahead of a cold front. However, as you can see in the animation above just about every day has at least a small rain threat through Tuesday. This is in large part due to the slowing of the system caused by the blocking effects of tropical storm Ophelia moving up the east coast. Sunday should be significantly cooler than Saturday with extensive cloud cover keeping readings more in the range of 70-75.
It's going to be very difficult to pin point rain totals due to the unknown effects of mesoscale features that change daily with this type of pattern. Additionally, the high volume of water vapor is likely to lead to localized downpours but defining where is next to impossible. Amounts are likely to vary significantly from one region to another. For now, here's what models are indicating for rainfall totals.
The 3k NAM
The middle of next week rain chances fade as a fairly strong ridge is expected to build into the mid-Mississippi Valley leading to a pronounced southwest flow. That's the recipe for a big fall-warm-up.
Look at these temperature departures the GFS indicates next Saturday.
It's possible highs could approach the 90 degree mark, at least in the south.
CPC shows a strong chance of well above normal temperatures during the period September 30-October 6th.
With that, I bid you all a fantastic weekend as fall officially arrives late Saturday night. Another summer has passed us by. Roll weather...TS
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