FULL SWING INTO SPRING...
The first full day of Spring did not disappoint. Hopefully now as we "spring" into the new season we can put the cold and snow of this last winter behind us once and for all.
In fact, statistically speaking warm weather should become more frequent now through the end of April. After digging through the temperature record books which date back to the late 1800's in Cedar Rapids, on average 45% of the next 40 days should feature high temperatures of 60 degrees or above with 20% of 70 degrees or above. A little less frequent are 80 degree days at just 5%.
Now don't get excited just yet. The Climate Prediction Center is indicating a probability of below-normal temperatures the last few days of March heading into April as the pattern switches to northwest flow. However, it'll be more pronounced in the northern plains.
For my area It doesn't look like it's going to be anything drastic, but there will be some cool days. There will also be some above-normal and mild days sprinkled in so more-or-less plan on up and down temperature swings over the next couple of weeks. The average high by April 1 is 55 degrees.
Friday and Saturday will be pleasant with sunshine and temperatures near or above 50 degrees. Clouds will start to build Saturday evening as moisture increases ahead of the next system. Showers will break out early Sunday morning with periods of rain through the day before ending Sunday night.
Below is the Euro model showing the system sweeping through the region.
Models have trended a bit more wet with the system than previous days. The GFS model is the wettest and has amounts of 0.50" or more south of Highway 20.
The Euro has a little less, but the trend is showing the heavier amounts will be confined in the central/southern part of the area.
Given the ground is thawing this may lead to just further saturation of the soil rather than a runoff problem impacting area rivers. However, this will need to be watched with many rivers/streams already running high.
A cold front and Canadian high pressure will build in early next week leading to much cooler temperatures in the 40s as the area will get locked in northwest flow.
But, by mid-to-late week the flow changes to the southwest allowing mild, Pacific air to stream in giving us a boost in temperatures where there is the potential of a 60 degree day.
The last time the thermometer reached 60 degrees in Cedar Rapids was BEFORE Halloween! As of today, that was 141 days ago which is the 11th longest stretch on record without having a 60 degree high temperature. I think we're about due.
After the mild swing, the pattern switches back to a more zonal west-to-east and at times northwest flow which will bring more cool and below-normal temperatures to the region heading into April.
Let the temperature seesaw begin. Roll weather.