Main short term issues are the strength of the winds and the associated fire danger for Tuesday and the timing/strength of a cold front on Wednesday. As far as this evening is concerned, looks great for the trick or treaters with fair skies and mild temperatures. The brisk southerly winds of this afternoon will diminish somewhat after dark but will still be a little breezy. Temperatures will be falling into the mid-upper 50s by 8PM, but the breeze will make it feel a little cooler.
Those southerly winds will also result in a milder start to the day on Tuesday with morning lows in the 40s to near 50. Lots of sunshine for Tuesday together with southerly winds of 15-30 mph or more and humidity levels dropping to near 30% will make for an enhanced fire danger situation. Look for daytime highs to be well into the 70s so the roller coaster ride is on the way back up in that regard.
Not for long though as a vigorous cold front will be arriving during the afternoon hours of Wednesday. The timing of the front now appears to be along the I-44 corridor by early afternoon and pretty much on through the state by sunset. Strong southerly winds ahead of the cold front and strong NW winds behind it suggests temperatures will be taking a real dive once the front moves through and we should be near 50 by evening with the winds making it feel much cooler.
There will also be a decent shot at rain with possibly some embedded thunder, primarily behind the boundary. All indications now suggest that there will be little or no instability so despite the strong dynamics, most of the rain should be post frontal. As is shown by the QPF on the right, the amount of rain we may receive from this system is now trending down. You may recall in some of the earlier discussions I had referenced the QPF product which had been suggesting as much as ½ inch or more of rainfall. The newer data now suggests less than ¼ inch. This is not uncommon; as we get closer to an event, we get better data and modify the forecast accordingly.
Thursday and Friday will start off cold, but a return to southerly winds on Friday will moderate temperatures and it should be milder going into the coming weekend. The coming weekend could see another chance of rain though as a weak system moves through and stalls out. That could set the stage for a more significant rainfall event early next week. This is obviously subject to change, but the longer range guidance has so far been remarkably consistent in showing a wetter pattern for early next week. Hopefully, it will help put another dent in the ongoing drought.
In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.