Dry weather continues over the state through the rest of the week and weekend, and warmer air is working in, thanks to strong south winds that started cranking up. This is not a surprise, as we have been talking about this set up going back into last week. Sunshine dominates on into the weekend. Evaporation rates have reached a maximum and with the winds we see excellent drying weather holding all the way through. The short-term part of the forecast is unchanged and pretty well set.
However, we are making some tweaks to our next front that is headed toward the region. The front looks slower this morning, and that may not be an ideal set of circumstances for us. A slower front will be able to draw more moisture up off of the Gulf of Mexico, leading to higher rain potential. The good news is that the slower front means we likely get another full dry day in here for Sunday. Strong southwest winds will continue ahead of the cold front, so even if cloud start to blow in ahead of the front, we see a full day of drying and harvest potential. Rains associated with the front likely do not develop until after sunset. From the evening through early Monday morning we can see up to half an inch of moisture over state, with coverage up to 80%. Those numbers are much stronger than our previous forecast but mirror the stronger front that develops thanks to the slower west-east movement. Heavier rains are more likely east of us in Ohio. The map above shows rain totals through midnight Sunday night.
The rains are not the only indicator of a stronger front. The air coming in on the backside looks a little cooler this morning than we had been seeing, and as such, we think there is a good chance that clouds hold through Monday, and we may even see some congested atmospheric conditions through midweek. This means that even with no new precipitation Monday through early Wednesday (we are looking at only clouds at this time, not additional precipitation), drying will not immediately ramp back up. We see full sunshine finally returning the second half of next week, and that is where we get our warmth to build, and our moisture to decrease.
The extended pattern looks cooler as well, particularly at month end, when our next front is likely to move through. That front brings .25”-.75” to most of the state but should be gone before Halloween. A second upper-level wave moves through the great lakes around the 1st, with a few hundredths to .25” of moisture potential, but the signature shows more of the cool air potential rather than a big rain event. Confidence in this late extended period forecast is up in the air though, as we do expect another tropical system to be working off the southeast coast around the same time. Where it goes, what it does and its strength will be key, as larger storms generally tend to slow and disrupt the flow pattern across the US back into our neck of the woods.