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Tuesday will be the 5th consecutive day of summery weather here in the Midwest. The incredible run of sunshine and warm conditions belies the calendar and the fact today is October 3rd. We are on borrowed time and and that will soon be evident as the first strong cold front of the fall season sends a chill to remind us, "the clock towards winter is ticking".

To give you an idea of the change ahead, here's Tuesday temperature departures...around 20 degrees above normal.

By mid-day Friday readings have flip flopped and some spots could be as much as 17 degrees below normal.

In relatable terms, that means highs will go from the upper 80s Tuesday to the mid 50s Friday and Saturday.

The big forecast challenges come in how the change unfolds. One of the first signs that something is up will be the increased winds on Tuesday. The tightening pressure gradient ahead of the approaching cold front should result in gusts reaching at least 20 mph. Despite the southerly component, low level moisture remains relatively low and outside of high cirrus in the afternoon, plenty of sunshine will get us through the day.

Tuesday night the front is activated out west with showers and thunderstorms moving into western Iowa during the evening. What's left of those will move into eastern Iowa towards daybreak. However, by then peak heating has long faded and forcing splits leaving only scattered showers. These are shown crossing the river early Wednesday before dissipating in the morning. They may redevelop towards evening but by then are shown just to the southeast of the region. What it all spells out is that this chilly change is not going to generate much in the way of rain and all of a sudden we have gone a week with no significant precipitation. We've had numerous periods since May where we have these 7-14 day dry streaks. They have been killers. Here's what models are indicating for rainfall through Wednesday. The GFS seems overdone to me.



The 3k NAM

The 12k NAM

This initial front with it's meager rain chances does have some cooler air with it and should shrink highs Wednesday back into the upper 70s north to the low to mid 80s south. A secondary front of far more more intensity spears the area Thursday night and that is the one that deals the first real shot of cold air this fall. Late Friday afternoon the GFS shows temperatures 30 degrees colder than 24 hours earlier (Thursday afternoon).

That translates to temperatures in the range of 48-53 on the GFS late Friday afternoon. Readings may actually fall later in the day as strong cold air advection whips up low stratus and some associated instability showers that will be light and brief. Toss in some wind gusts to 30 mph and yes Virginia, it's time to dig out the coat!

Friday night the potential of some light frost exists, especially in my northern counties. This is very contingent on clouds departing and winds diminishing. Models do show some breaks but do not settle the wind and therefore it appears most lows stay in the mid to upper 30s. Saturday gets off to a very chilly start and with highs mainly in the mid to upper 50s later in the day, those summer readings we've grown accustomed to recently will be nothing more than a fond memory. Here's what the GFS depicts for lows Saturday morning.

The remainder of the weekend looks cool but dry. Highs Sunday should be back in the low 60s with mixed sun and clouds.

Overall, the pattern next week is dominated by W/NW flow which means moisture will be limited and so will significant storms. I anticipate below normal precipitation is likely for many around the Midwest. Enjoy the toasty day ahead, this may be the warmest one we see until spring of next year! Roll weather...TS



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