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There's a rule of thumb that usually rings true and that's when available water vapor reaches or exceeds 2 inches, the pump is primed for heavy rains. That's the moisture threshold where efficient rainfall producers are possible with rainfall rates of 1-2 inches per hour. Over the weekend I see two periods where water vapor reaches 2 inches inducing bands of heavy rain. The first is already in progress over my southern counties (mainly south of I-80) after a Friday evening start .

The second develops during the day Sunday. It does not look as robust as the first round but it does have a chance of impacting most of the region with more pockets of heavy rain. This event also has the added dimension of a strong storm but that threat is conditional based on heating.

The initial event, still ongoing early Saturday across my southern counties, has already dumped heavy rain and has the capability to lay out a rain band of 1-3 inches (locally more) near and south of I-80 before it fades away by Saturday afternoon. The area near and south of HWY 34 is most under the gun for significant rains that could produce amounts up to 5 inches in spots that may lead to flash flooding.

The north will sit this one out with little more than broken clouds. Despite the clouds and some morning precipitation in the south, enough solar radiation will make it through to bump highs into the low to mid 80s. Dew points will actually decrease during the day as the first wave of deep moisture spins off to the east. That said, it still looks a tad muggy, especially across the south. Here's what the EURO shows for rain through Saturday morning.

Most of Saturday afternoon and night now looks quiet as subsidence behind the initial disturbance neutralizes instability. There's an outside chance of an afternoon or evening storm but they would be isolated and most spots will stay dry.

That leads us to Sunday, the day the primary energy and surface low ejects across the Midwest. Ahead of the system, moisture increases again with water vapor inching close to 2 inches by evening.

As a deepening surface low interacts with the moisture it should provide the lift for widespread showers and storms. One notable change from yesterday is that CAPE (instability) has decreased even further which generally serves to lessen any severe weather threat.

It's still possible that a couple of storms reach strong limits but that again is contingent on a little more heating than is currently indicated. The south is far more favored for anything approaching severe limits. I certainly do look for showers and storms but locally heavy rain is probably the most significant threat. The Weather Prediction Center does show a slight risk of excessive rains for most of the area due to the moisture laden air mass.

Here's what SPC indicates for a severe risk Sunday afternoon and evening.

As the system deepens and moves east into the Great Lakes wrap around clouds and showers are likely to be scattered about through Monday. Brisk northerly winds will bring cooler temperatures with highs likely to remain in the 70s Monday and perhaps Tuesday, especially across the north.

The pattern remains active into midweek when the next rain maker is expected to arrive. There's some issues to be resolved with the track that would impact where the heavier rains would fall but that's a story for another day. Have an excellent weekend and roll weather...TS



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