Starting to get a little more optimistic regarding not only our rain chances for the rest of the week, but that we may even get enough rain to put a dent in the drought and the burn ban situation for at least part of the state. The QPF map on the right is valid through this coming Saturday morning and shows an axis of decent rainfall over about the northern half of the state and into southern KS. Keep in mind, this is an areal average for that time frame and there will be some locations that will receive more than what is indicated and others that will receive less. At least we have a chance.
Before we get there though, we will have to deal with an enhanced fire danger situation for the rest of the day today and also into the day Tuesday. Gusty southerly winds, rising temperatures, and the drought/dryness has prompted a Red Flag Fire Warning for much of the state this afternoon. We have had enough cloud cover so far today to slow down the warm-up somewhat, but the more W and SW counties are still expected to reach the lower 90s. The extreme NE counties will likely be well into the 80s this afternoon, but gusty SSW winds up to 30 mph or so will be common across the area.
Those winds will not settle down too much tonight as the pressure gradient should still maintain a southerly wind of 10-20 mph for the overnight hours. That means temperatures will not cool off much tonight either and morning lows in the upper 60s to lower 70s are expected to start the day. Those southerly winds will quickly pick back up to 15-30 mph during the day and temperatures will quickly rise back into the 80s and lower 90s creating another enhanced fire danger situation for Tuesday.
However, there will also be at least a slight chance of a shower/storm late Tuesday and into the overnight hours particularly for the more northern counties. A frontal boundary will be nearly stationary just north of us in KS and that should provide a focus for showers/storms to be developing later in the day. That boundary will be bouncing around for several days but gradually settling further southward with time. That will also bring better chances of showers/storms into at least the northern counties as the week wears on as shown on the QPF map to the right. The extra cloudiness and chances of rain will also knock temperatures back some, but the southerly winds will keep us warmer than normal until at least the weekend.
There are still some significant differences that remain to be resolved in the longer range guidance which keeps me from bringing the rain chances up too much more than what is shown on the forecast page. Also, those differences make it more difficult to determine which day will have the best chance. For example, the ECMWF suggests widespread, potentially heavy rainfall going into the weekend and the GFS is much drier. The difference seems to be centered around how the respective models are handling TS Miriam on the Pacific side of the tropics. Miriam is still expected to recurve into northern Mexico and the main question then becomes how much and how far northward will that tropical moisture penetrate. So, until those differences get resolved, will maintain at least a decent chance of showers/storms for the latter part of the week with the caveat that there may be some significant changes in the next day or two.
In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.