After a chilly weekend, we should see slightly better weather to start the week. A warm front sitting off to the west will interact with the state through the day today, although we cannot sit here and say we will see a full out warm front passage. Winds have a hard time doing more than turning west today, and we will not see significant warming. In fact, moderating temps will be all you get us to talk up today and tomorrow, as sunshine probably plays the biggest role in getting us a little farther away from those cold temps that we were stuck with this weekend. We have no major weather action today or tomorrow to deal with.
Our next front starts to nose closer on Wednesday, and we likely see some decent southwest flow ahead of it. This southwest flow will bump temps up somewhat, and will fuel some precipitation development along the front. That being said, we are knocking the system timing back about 12-18 hours now. This morning, the front looks like it will wait to trigger any significant precipitation until late Wednesday evening into Thursday. Then the rains continue off and on through the entire day Thursday. We like rain totals from .1”-.6” over 90% of the state. These will mostly be gentle rains but will lead to enough moisture to slow potential for field work once again. Temps will be the warmest of the week on Thursday as south winds reach a zenith ahead of the cold frontal passage.
We dry down some on Friday and Saturday as cooler, fast moving high pressure comes in behind the front. Clouds may hold for a good part of Friday, but we expect some sun on Saturday. The major disturbance of our 10 day period is one we have been talking about for quite some time. This system looks to come through in 2 pieces. The first wave hits for Sunday, with clouds building Saturday night. This will bring minor rains for the most part, a few hundredths to half an inch over about 50% of the state. Temps will be normal to above normal on good south west flow. After a little lull from Sunday night through the first half of Monday, the second, stronger wave arrives Monday afternoon and rips across the state through Monday overnight and the first half of Tuesday. That second part has much more rain, with potential of .5”-1.5” over 90% of the state. There can be some thunderstorm action too, as the atmosphere gets very unstable in there. This will be a significant system, as we have been talking up for about a week. The timing has not strayed much from our initial 5th-7th time frame…and so we have strong confidence in our forecast. The map above shows 6 day rain totals that encompass the strong system this weekend through midweek next week.
Colder air comes in behind that storm complex, and we retreat back to near normal levels. WE should be dry from the 8th on into the start of the extended period. In the extended forecast window, we are watching a strong storm complex exiting the central and southern plains around the 11th into the 12th. Right now, there appears to be potential for that system to miss us to the south. However we think that the system will track farther north as we get closer to the event, so we are looking at another potential big rain maker for those days here.
Overall, the forecast still does not look to have large dry windows to work with. Moderating temps will help, but we still likely do not see any more than 2-3 day workable harvest windows, and if we get the heavier rains early next week that we expect, that will slow things further.