Thursday, 11:30 a.m.
The most recently issued U.S. Drought Monitor is not a pretty looking picture, quite frankly. More and more areas are slipping deeper and deeper into a precipitation deficit, highlighted, of course, by the wild fires still raging across northern Colorado and in New Mexico:
Right now, it almost appears to be a case of those who have been getting rain will continue to find ways to keep getting some rain, with some exceptions, while those who have not been getting much rain aren't likely to see that change much in the next week.
Certainly, very little rain is in the picture for the central and southern Rockies. As was discussed in an earlier post, a couple of fronts will fly across the northern Rockies and the Plains to bring a couple of passing chances for thunderstorms, especially in eastern Colorado and onto the Plains, but after Saturday, the heights quickly rebound, and the dry, hot weather resumes. Here's a look at the total precipitation being forecast by the 0z GFS through Monday evening:
This LOOKS promising across the Dakotas to Kansas and across the Midwest, but if you look carefully, you'll probably notice how the precipitation amounts dwindle as you head east across Illinois and into the Great Lakes and especially the Ohio and Tennessee valleys. I feel pretty confident there will be some potent thunderstorms with some pretty beneficial rain for the central and northern Plains and PARTS of the Midwest, but I'm concerned that places like Chicago on south and east see this moisture largely dry up before it arrives, just as we saw on Tuesday as the front passed through. Given how dry it has become, I'm very hesitant to get everyone's hope for meaningful rainfall that will perk up the lawns and gardens. IF it's going to happen, it would be Sunday as the best of the fronts plows through.
There is, of course, a nice break in the rainfall in most of the East through the beginning of next week. In fact, the humidity will be down, as will temperatures. Here's a sampling from the GFS ensembles for Sunday:
That is likely to change next week. Once the upper-level trough in the vicinity of the East Coast through the weekend begins to break down and move away, it will open the door to warmth that will expand from the Midwest into the Great Lakes, southern Ontario and Quebec this weekend. And instead of the warmth building into the East from the southwest, it'll come in from a northwesterly direction. Sometimes that can lead to some surprisingly hot weather, particularly in New York and New England. That may be something worth noting for the second half of next week.
Another thing that may be worth noting or watching next week is the tropics. There's growing concern that some sort of disturbed weather over the western Caribbean will begin to take shape late this weekend and early next week, something that with time could wind up somewhere in the Gulf. Stay tuned for more on that scenario in the coming days!
A building upper-level ridge of high pressure in the West will promote hot, dry weather in the Northwest, while a downstream trough brings cooling through the Midwest into the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley.
A pattern more typical of late July and early August is shaping up around the country, one with heat and humidity, but with fewer incidents of severe thunderstorms and flooding.
There will be plenty of heat and humidity from the southern Plains to the East Coast this week while much cooler air prevails for a time over the Northwest to the northern Plains.
Severe thunderstorms raked across the Midwest and Ohio Valley in the past 24 hours, with more on the way this afternoon. The pattern will repeat itself over the next week.