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Before we get to the heat of next week, here's a recap of the latest drought monitor. Widespread rains a week ago did put a dent in the ongoing drought with a noticeable reduction in classification coverage. That said, it's far from over as we've now gone another week with no rain and that is likely going to mean some of the gains will be lost in next weeks outlook, especially if we remain dry through next Tuesday. As it stands now, 18.8% of the Midwest is in severe drought, down from 26.0% the previous week. Moderate drought has decreased from 63.9 percent to 54.35%. Overall, at the very least 84.9% of the Midwest is abnormally dry compared to 87.9% last week.

Below in the side by side comparison, you can clearly see the loss of orange in eastern Iowa and northern Illinois reflective of where significant rains occurred last week.

Rain is still a needed commodity going forward but more so in the north where here in Dubuque the monthly total for July stands at 1.54 inches which is roughly 1.75 inches below normal. The GFS over the next two weeks is back on a dry kick after wetter runs yesterday. It's 2 week rainfall departures look like this around the Midwest. A few days of hot weather and limited rainfall of this caliber would certainly enhance the drought, especially in my northern counties.

There is a chance we could pick up some warm advection storms early next week as the coming heat approaches the region. Beyond that, the EURO punches a cool front through the region and bogs it down a couple days the end of next week bringing a better chance of rain at that time. I hope that's the case but I'm leaning more toward the drier GFS for the time being. Honestly, it's too early to know with the mesoscale details so uncertain.

Why the flip to drier conditions? Because as I've stated numerous times in recent posts, the GFS brings back the Great Lakes trough we've seen over and over again. There is a sympathetic weakness in the overall 500mb flow that just does not want to be permanently eliminated. This has implications not only on rainfall, but the heat wave that has long been touted by some sources. The depth of the cool air is the key to watch, the deeper it penetrates, the drier the air, and the less rain potential long term.


So let me begin with the heat that is tied to the 500mb flow. First, the 500mb jet next Wednesday July 27th followed by the temperature departures. Note, there is a zonal (west to east) storm track, little indication of the Great Lakes trough. That allows heat to burst out of the SW heat dome and penetrate the Midwest the middle of next week allowing several days where highs in the 90s are likely.

The associated temperature departures.

Now look at the projected 500mb flow the evening of August 1st. Boom, the NW flow is back knocking the heat and any associated moisture back to the southwest. My guts been telling me to watch out for that potential but until today models had been wishy washy on the issue outside of the EURO ensembles which gave me the hint this might be coming.

Look at the cool air that's replaced the heat in the temperature departures for August 1st.

The screaming message is that we will get a short taste of summer's sizzle but by no means are we in for a prolonged round of heat. Look what the Canadian GEM meteogram is doing in the Quad Cities. It goes from mid 90s to upper 70s. That may be a bit cool but in a nutshell I like its trend of where the pattern is going.

The EURO has a similar idea and shows this.

The Weather Prediction Center does include all of the central Midwest in a hazardous risk area for temperatures July 24-28th.

As for the weekend ahead, I will make a mention of some isolated showers Saturday afternoon and night but these will be very widely scattered, brief, and as a rule light. The north is most favored and I suspect many areas are going to stay dry. Storm chances may go up a bit early next week when the warm advection increases from the approaching heat.

Temperatures Saturday will be warm under partly sunny skies. Highs generally should be in the range of 82-84. Sunday we start climbing with readings in the mid 80s, perhaps upper 80s in the south.

That is all for now. Make it a stellar weekend and roll weather...TS



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