Cloudier skies and a wave of early showers helped keep most areas below 90° Thursday afternoon. That’s the first time in over 2 weeks, and boy was it nice. We can look forward to a string of milder days as we close out the month.

Rain would also be nice, and we did find some on Thursday, mostly east and north of Springfield. The rain is still desperately needed with the drought continuing to worsen despite recent rains in the Ozarks. The opportunities will be there through the weekend before things dry out again.

For tonight, we’ll find patchy clouds. Rain chances will generally remain near and south of the state line where scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected to break out overnight. There could be some pockets of locally heavy rain from Jasper, AR, to Ash Flat, AR, with totals of 1 to 3″.

Rain across Northern Arkansas will be on the way out by morning. Much of the day looks quiet across the region with partly to mostly cloudy skies and highs in the 80s. A few spotty showers may pop up late in the day or Friday evening, mainly south of Hwy. 60.

Another wave of rain and thunderstorms will sweep east through the region Saturday. Heavy rain will be possible with the highest chances for stronger storms and heavy rainfall along and south of Hwy. 60. Temperatures will remain mild throughout the day with most locations staying below 80° for highs.

The frontal boundary bringing the increased rain chances will continue to lift north into Sunday bringing the threat of more widespread shower and thunderstorm activity Saturday night into Sunday. It looks like there will be some afternoon sun and this will push high temperatures back into the 80s.

Rainfall through the weekend will be locally heavy with a general 1 to 3″ expected to fall. The higher chances for heavy rain and localized flooding will probably focus across Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas.

Monday will be a transition day as the frontal boundary lifts northeast of the area. There will be a chance for showers and thunderstorms Sunday night into Monday morning with mostly dry and hotter weather Monday afternoon.

The summer ridge will build back into the middle of the country through the middle of next week. We’ve been here before this summer, and it will mean drier and hotter weather across the region. It looks like the summer ridge will be setting up shop keeping the pattern hotter and drier into the second week of August. This is bad news with the drought expected to continue worsening across the Ozarks.