No change in the short term forecast this morning. We continue to see dry weather conditions right on through the weekend and through the first half of next week. A few areas in far north and northeast Indiana will deal with clouds this morning and we will not rule out an occasional spit or sprinkle, but with the atmosphere drying out so much over the past few days, it will be difficult for any significant moisture to make it to the surface this morning. We will acknowledge the clouds through the start of the day today but are downplaying any moisture at this time. Temps will start to work higher today and will see significant builds through the weekend and early next week, producing 5-10 degrees above normal temps over a large part of the state. The temperature climb will come via strong southwest flow, and we think it will be rather breezy from this weekend through the first half of next week. The stronger the SW wind…the more likely we can see “blowtorch” conditions, where temps easily exceed expectations the best chance of that will be farther west over IA, SD, and even western IL…but we won’t rule it out here. That also means we have less than optimal conditions in our forecast for spraying. The heat is the kind that makes one normally think of pop-up afternoon thunderstorms, but for right now, we think that action will be limited through Wednesday morning.
Our next frontal boundary continues to be reluctant to move east in a timely manner. However, we have not seen as significant of delay over the past few model runs. The front should kick off some showers in the northern part of the state overnight Wednesday night and the action continues through the day Thursday. We are putting our rain totals at .25”-.6” with coverage at 80% of the state through Thursday. At this point, we do not expect thunderstorm development and no threat of severe weather. The map above shows 24-hour precipitation totals from mid-afternoon Wednesday through mid-afternoon Thursday.
Lingering moisture may play a role in the forecast following that frontal passage. Friday, we should see some sun, but at this point, we are hesitant to wave the “all clear” flag. We can’t rule out a shower or two with 30% statewide coverage. However, Friday will be significantly drier than Thursday in a comparative sense. Next Saturday we actually have some moisture backing back into the state from the old, dying frontal boundary off to the south and east. That will bring scattered showers yielding .05”-.3” over about 50% of the state. Obviously, there will be plenty of “holes” in the coverage, and we are skewing our thoughts toward more southern and central Indiana on the Saturday wave than farther north and west.
In the extended window, models are all over the place. The consensus is trending toward an upper-level ridge to start off the 11-16 day period, although we think there can be some minor moisture trapped underneath that ridge. If that is the case, we should see above normal warmth continue, with a chance of some hit and miss showers. However, then the GFS is convinced we have a strong tropical system coming through the Gulf, and it brings the system right up to the Mississippi River Valley and into the eastern corn belt. The Euro and others do no such thing. The GFS is notorious for screwing up and being way to “bullish” on early season tropical systems and waves…so we doubt the solution. Still, it bears mentioning, just in case you hear someone else try and talk up “good rains” late next week. We are taking a drier approach to the total 11-16 day window, looking for a third of an inch or less at this time, with coverage at 60%.