THE MONEY BALL! WE'RE ALL WINNERS THIS WEEKEND...
As expected the SOI (southern oscillation index) is on the rise. That means the big warm-up is coming along right on schedule. Here's today's SOI reading at -4.42. That's up sharply from two days ago when it was as low as -21. It's also well above the 30 day average of -12.04.
I pay attention to this because it's a great heads up that a ridge is building over the eastern United States that's usually aligned with a deep trough over the west. The ridge trough couplet ensures a rich southwest flow aloft that transports warmth and moisture northward into the Midwest. Here's the 500mb jet stream flow Monday.
Here's the highs on Monday that soar into the 80s in many places.
Tuesday is even warmer and looks to be the warmest day of the event with highs into the mid 80s as far north as Minneapolis.
Going into next weekend the western trough has still not ejected from the Plains so above normal readings remain intact.
Here's next Friday's highs still hugging 80 if the EURO has its way. The GFS is a bit cooler but that's a bit suspect.
The 10 day meteogram for Cedar Rapids is very toasty. The average high for the 9 day period Saturday the 13th-Sunday the 21st is just shy of 80.
I did a little research and found that the last time we had 3 or more consecutive days with 80 degree highs in my area was September 20-22 of 2016, nearly 8 months ago. I guess it's time!
Despite the warmth and increasing humidity, the forcing for heavy rain is currently not focused on my local area. The 16 day rainfall forecast off the GFS has a black hole over eastern Iowa, SW Wisconsin, and N. Illinois. The rest of the Midwest is much wetter with 2-4" totals common. This could change dramatically if frontal systems and resulting convection is altered in any way. The output is just a trend indicator for now.
Of more importance is the weekend ahead. With graduations, proms, and Mother's Day events galore, rain would not be welcome. As you can see it's not expected around the Midwest Saturday or Sunday. What little you see is from Friday night.
So there you have it. We picked the money ball and we have won a warm dry weekend. My work here is done. Roll weather and have an outstading weekend....TS