Scattered showers move across the state today, a consequence of a minor cool front that sweeps through from NW to SE. We are not all that impressed by action over the state today and think that most of the rain will fall in a range from a few hundredths to .3”. Coverage will be only around 60% of the state, and we will skew that coverage more toward the north and east parts of the state. We should see action done by sunset and a dry Wednesday will ensue.
A better organized frontal boundary works through for Thursday and moisture lingers on Friday. Thursday, we expect rain and thunderstorm action to bring .25”-1” to about 80% of the state. The best chance for the heavier rain and the thunderstorms will be over the southern half of the state. On Friday, lingering precipitation looks to be rather light, with a few hundredths to .3” possible, but only with coverage at 50% of the state.
Our harvest chances really rest on the weekend…the Saturday-Sunday period. Models are split, with one model bringing a dry weekend and keeping the dry weather Monday through Wednesday of next week. Another model has rain around both days of the weekend, and combined projects .25”-.75” and nearly 70% coverage! Those are stark differences. Right now, we are leaning toward the drier solution, not just because we want to see harvest continue, but more because front that sweeps through later this week does not trigger a major pattern change yet. That means we should stay warm, and that kind of set up does not aid a drawn out, damp set up. That may be coming later in the forecast, but not already this weekend. However, the dry period for Monday through Wednesday that both models project is a change in our forecast this morning vs what we were talking yesterday. There still is a very powerful systems working across the corn belt to start next week. But, it is slowing dramatically in its march. IT moves into the WCB still Sunday night into Monday but takes all the way until Wednesday night to make it here. That leaves us with a nice dry window to start the week. If we are right about the weekend…that means we do squeeze out a 5-day dry window that we should be able to work with some.
Rain returns for next Wednesday night into Thursday and will bring at least .25”-.6” of rain to 80% of the state. Then we look for moisture to linger across the region to start the 11-16 day window as well, holding through next Friday and Saturday. That rain will add another .25”-.75” to 90% of the state. That three and a half to four day stretch of moisture comes as cooler air pushes back into the region, which allows the wetter outlook. The map at right shows potential rain totals from this 4-day event.
The rest of the extended period is dry, from Saturday evening all the way through the following Wednesday, the 17th. Canadian high pressure will be in play, so while sunshine dominates, it will feel more like fall than summer…in stark contrast to what we will be seeing this week and weekend. By late this week, temperatures will be averaging 15-20 degrees above normal.