Going into May the weather around the central Midwest had been anything but exciting from a severe weather standpoint. With cold air dominating the pattern thunderstorms were few and far between. In fact, it was dry over my central and southern counties much of April. Ending May 1st, we went 13 consecutive days with no rain here in Cedar Rapids, For the month we totaled just .43" making it our driest April on record.
Come May, temperatures heated up and so did severe weather. A 3 day siege of of storminess produced 50 tornadoes May 1st-3rd. You can see the storm reports below.
May 1...21 twisters
May 2nd...22 tornadoes
May 3rd...8 tornadoes
The 50 tornadoes brought the yearly preliminary report to just 268.
The total of 268 is less than 25% of normal
Every month this year has posted below normal tornado counts. It will be interesting to see how the season unfolds going forward. The graphic below from SPC shows the prime severe weather season is now centered on the southern Plains.
By the end of May my area reaches its severe weather peak.
While the next 10-14 days look fairly quiet, things can change in a hurry and the Midwest is likely to experience a severe weather surge later in May into early June.
Short term, the weather is shaping up nice, After highs in the 80s Saturday (83 in Cedar Rapids) readings will remain above normal the next 5 days. Here's the forecast temperature departures on the EURO ensemble means the next 5 days.
Mid to long term readings still look relatively mild. Here's days 5-10.
And days 10-15. The mild weather is good news for Midwest farmers who have dealt with a cold spring and a late start to field work and planting.
Another important facet of the next 15 days is what appears to be near normal precipitation. Mild temperatures and seasonal rains should have the corn sprouting before you know it.
By the way, the recent rains and warmth have also got my yard to green up and start to grow. I still haven't had to cut the grass which is the latest I can ever remember. Sadly, my days are numbered! Roll weather...TS