THE CUT-OFF LOW IS COMING...
A big 'ol storm is a-brewin' and it will bring rain back to the Midwest this weekend. This low pressure system is going to get cut off from the jet stream, meaning nothing will be steering the storm. These systems tend to meander and can be tough to forecast.
As the storm has now gotten closer to land, we will be getting a better idea of the results around the Midwest. The storm will be responsible for showers and thunderstorms in the Midwest and strong to even severe storms in the southern/central Plains. Here are the outlooks from the SPC over the next four days:
In the Upper Midwest it will just be a rain event, with some embedded thunder, Friday afternoon through Saturday. Here's the latest outputs for rainfall on the GFS, NAM and European through Sunday morning:
There are some differences in the models and I think they're having trouble handling the cut-off low and translating that into the location of the heaviest rain. Where there is some consistency is the stripe on all three models (near the IA/MN border). That's where the warm front will set up and there could be some areas pushing three inches in that band.
Before the rain... it will warm up across much of the Midwest. Here are the high temperatures Friday afternoon:
Notice the sharp cut off of temperatures in the 60s and 70s to 40s in Iowa and Minnesota. That's going to be right where the warm front sets up. Here's the surface pattern on the European Friday evening:
We could use some precipitation around the Midwest. In my area we've only had measurable precipitation four out of the last 22 days of the month! That has been the same across much of the Midwest and as a result, there is a bit of a precipitation deficit for the month of March so far.
It's going to take some time for the low to move out so showers and thunderstorms will be ongoing through Friday night, with some rain showers much of the day Saturday. That will surely help fill up the gauges this weekend.