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Back in November winter came on fast and hard featuring cold, snow, and a post Thanksgiving blizzard for my southern counties.

Then December dawned warm and angry with a record breaking tornado outbreak in WC Illinois. The remainder of the month remained wet and mild and that's the way it stayed until the second week of January.

Just as many were thinking the winter wasn't going to be so bad after all, the tide turned again and ever since its been nothing but mayhem with record snows and all-time cold. Throw it all together and this is what the temperature departures look like since November 1st. Gazing at that you would never guess how tough the last 2 months have been.

March has picked up where January and February left off without the heavy snows. Here's the departures so far.

In Cedar Rapids March is running about 14 degrees below normal the first 12 days of the month. At this point one of the coldest on record.

That is why the long range forecast is reason for joy (or at least happiness). Our first glimpse of spring comes Wednesday and Thursday when a powerful spring storm sends a slug of warm moist air into the Midwest. Highs over much of my area both days are expected to reach the 50s. Some parts of my region near and east of the Mississippi may even snag a 60 Thursday.

This first wave of warmth is a bit of a tease as temperatures will cool again behind the storm. However, the air is far from cold and in about a week some real nice warming is anticipated. Check out this 15 day meteorgram for Cedar Rapids. The period March 22nd through the 26th highs are averaging near 60. Yea baby!

If that doesn't float your boat this might. It's the temperature departures for April 11 through the 21st. If this verifies an 80 degree day is a darn good bet.

The last thing I'll leave you with is the rain that will be a part of the forecast into Wednesday evening. Considering the strength of the storm we're lucky to be getting out of this with totals that should be in the range of 1/2 to an inch. We can thank the track for that. Out in Nebraska closer to the surface low amounts could exceed 4 inches. That would really enhance the flooding situation which will increase on rivers and streams the next few days. As it stands now, most of the rivers in my area are expecting near or major crests by early next week. A flood watch is in effect into Thursday for most of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

Here are some rainfall forecasts.

The 3k NAM



Last but not least, the snowfall forecast off the GFS.

That's a wrap for now...enjoy those warmer temperatures and roll weather...TS

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