As generous as the rainfall over the weekend was for our western neighbors, they are still way too dry. Notice the first map on the right which shows the total precipitation so far this year and the second map which shows the departure from normal so far this year. It is obvious that the recent rains have certainly helped but they still have an enormous precipitation deficit to make up. Only the extreme NE counties are anywhere close to their normal precipitation for 2011 and that just happens to be where a few showers and some thunder have popped up this afternoon. Those storms are moving on to the NE and are very spotty anyway.
However, later tonight a more widespread area of showers and embedded thunder is expected to be developing out west and moving this way by early Wednesday morning. These will have the potential for dropping another ¼" or so of rainfall which means these showers/storms will not be a drought buster either. It will help though, and some lucky folks may even receive more than that. This is all pre-frontal activity which should move quickly on east by afternoon followed by at least some afternoon sunshine for Wednesday. The main cool front is not expected to arrive till late in the day or into the evening/early night time hours. This leaves open the possibility for some additional heating and destabilization and a chance of some late afternoon or evening storms. If those can get going, there is a slight risk that some of them may become marginally severe with localized damaging winds and hail the primary threats.
Temperatures will remain well above normal with lower 60s under mostly cloudy skies tonight and well into the 70s if not some lower 80s for Wednesday afternoon. Following the cool front Wednesday night, gusty northwest winds and clear skies are expected for Thursday along with cooler conditions. Friday morning will start off clear and cool, but a return to southerly winds will start a warming trend. Gusty southerly winds for Sat and Sun will get temperatures back into the 80s during the day.
Another, stronger cool front now looks to be arriving by early Tuesday of next week and that system will also provide at least a chance of some showers/storms. It also looks to be followed by what should be the coolest air of the fall season for the middle of next week.
In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.