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Slow-moving weather brings 'tricky' forecast

Whenever I see closed upper level low pressure systems on the weather maps (which we have right now) I always "cringe" just a bit. These are often very important weather makers (mostly because they are such slow movers and thus impact the weather for several days in a row), but are often handled very poorly by the models just a few days in advance and thus makes for very tricky weather forecasting. An upper level low looks evolve in the eastern Corn Belt in the near-term and now looks to be a factor in the weather there through as late as Wednesday of next week.

Given the longevity of the system, the fact that it looks to be "parked" a little further west, and the fact that it looks to be stronger, we have a wetter forecast today for the eastern Corn Belt and into the Delta. The eastern Corn Belt (say, areas east of Interstate 35) is going to see cool conditions with a lot of cloud cover from today through early Sunday, and there will be scattered light rains in that area during that time frame as well. As the low becomes more intense for early next week, rains will become heavier and more widespread for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.

 That three-day time period could feature rains of more than a half inch for Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and northern Illinois but look for a lot of that area to actually see rains of over an inch and locally over two inches. While all of that is occurring though, it will be a sharp line to basically no rain at all from today through next Tuesday for areas of the Midwest to the west of Interstate 35.

 We may still see some rain in the far eastern Corn Belt next Wednesday, but by Thursday the entire region looks dry and I still cannot be excited about the rainfall potential in the Midwest for the start of October.

 As expected we have seen a narrow strip of very nice rains in northern Oklahoma over the past 24 hours (over an inch at Tulsa), but that rain will quickly dissipate today and very little rain is in the rest of the two-week forecast for the hard-red winter wheat belt.

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