July 26, 2016 Updated: 6:15 AM
A quiet start to Tuesday with a clear sky and temperatures in the upper 50s to mid 60s. The dewpoint is very close to our air temperature but with the cooler trend it is not feeling too bad. It will be feeling pretty sticky by this afternoon, though. Another great beach or pool day in store, just don't forget the sunblock!
High pressure, our fair weather friend, is controlling our weather pattern for now keeping the sky clear and the forecast rain free. This high is on its way out of the region, currently moving toward the Great Lakes. On the backside of this high our winds are shifting back to the more west southwest meaning there will be another round of warmer than normal temperatures today. It will not be as hot as last week and nowhere near as humid, but it will be warm with highs in the upper 80s and dewpoints in the upper 60s (technically "sticky" but very close to feeling "tropical"). While we are enjoying the heat and sunshine today, a front begins to move east from the Plains. It won't get here until later tonight (it has already slowed down, removing the rain chances for the day) helping to bring some extra clouds and a few scattered showers and storms to the forecast for tonight. Overnight lows will stay in the upper 60s and with dewpoints still in the 60s it will feel a bit sticky tonight.
Heading into Wednesday and Thursday we will see an increased chance of showers and thunderstorms with low pressure and a front in the region. This does not look to be a widespread rain event, and overall amounts look to be lower than what we've seen in the last few systems that have pushed through. A general tenth to quarter of an inch looks likely which is good news for the almanac which is just below average for monthly rainfall in Eau Claire. We've seen about 3" of rain while La Crosse has picked up over 5" so if the rain stays mainly around the Chippewa Valley that would be best. Of course, Mother Nature tends to not take our advice. Anyhow, the set up is not favorable for widespread severe storms so the threat remains low tomorrow and Thursday. But, as always, we could see at least a few stronger storms which would carry a heavy rain potential. All the extra clouds Wednesday will keep temperatures closer to average, in the low and middle 80s but with the humidity value still high it will feel a bit warmer. By Thursday, though, it will be feeling a bit more fall-like with a mostly cloudy sky, highs in the upper 70s and a bit less stickiness in the air.
Some good news for the end of the week if you have outside plans, the weather is now looking dry for Friday. High pressure will take control of the Upper Midwest from the north, bringing mainly dry and slightly cooler weather for a few days. To end the work week, an upper trough will slide by just to the north, bringing a mix of clouds and sunshine with highs in the upper 70s. The weekend will feature quite a bit of sunshine along with a slow warm up. Saturday will top out near 80°, with low 80s on Sunday. Further warming is expected going into the start of next week and the early days of August with some models hinting at another stretch of 90s. We'll just have to wait and see but although we're heading into the final month of the meteorological season, summer is far from over.
-Meteorologist Monica Ott