ONE STEP FORWARD, 2 STEPS BACK...
Well folks, the weather is going to straighten out for a couple days meaning the majority of the weekend will be substantially better. Temperatures are actually going to warm-up and rain should hold off until Sunday night across most of my area.
And boy, will a little warmth be welcome. The last 7 days the average high in Cedar Rapids has been 54 degrees. Along with that we've had over 2" of rain with nearly 1" of snow. Wet and cold, that blows! Look at the depth of the chill around the Midwest by way of the 7 day temperature departures.
It would be great to tell you the warmer weather we'll enjoy this weekend will be around for awhile but that is not in the cards. You can see why in the 500mb jet stream anomalies. This is next Wednesday.
That deep trough will bring more unseasonably cold air. Here's the temperature departures next Thursday.
That's followed by another strong trough next weekend. Here's what it looks like at 500mb along with the associated temperature departures.
And now this is May 16th (nearly 2 weeks from now). For crying out loud!
By this time the entire nation but south Florida is below normal. Alaska is warmer than many parts of the continental U.S.!
The pattern is also energetic and even with so much cold there's plenty of precipitation. This is the mean precipitation forecast off the EURO EPS means the next 15 days. Ugh....
The first wave of what rain accumulates arrives Sunday night. Then, with a front bogged down over Missouri a prolonged period of over-running rains are likely through much of next week. While it wont rain all the time there is a threat of at least some rain every day through at least Thursday. How heavy the rain is in my local area will be determined by how far the front sags into Missouri. I've noticed a trend Friday for the front to drift further south. That would be a good thing as it would keep the thunderstorm threat with its excessive rains deeper into Missouri instead of Iowa.
Even if this ends up being the case there is still going to be occasional rain, just not as much. We'll watch this trend in coming days as it will be very critical for places like the Quad Cities along the Mississippi. Even though the river has crested it remains very susceptible to additional rain and another crest is possible if heavy rain falls upstream. I received this email from the NWS hydrologist in the Quad Cities regarding additional crests Friday afternoon.
I'm not sure if you can read the copy clearly so here is the text I pulled.
We wanted to pass along that we were also able to look at what a heavier rainfall than what is in our current forecast would look like on the river levels.
Increasing the total rainfall amounts from Sunday through Wednesday to a range of 3" to 4" rather than 2" to 3", river levels from Fulton L&D13 and all areas downstream would rise back up to the current crest levels or slightly above, and staying at those levels at a slightly longer duration. Upstream of L&D13, levels would peak out below the most recent crest.
We will continue to monitor the trends in the storm tracks for next week and provide information through the weekend on that and our expectations for the river levels at specific locations. Additionally, slides will be sent out from this afternoon's webinar yet this afternoon.
Let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
As it stands now the latest hydrograph for the Quad Cities shows a gradual fall the next 7 days but does not include the additional rain that is forecast next week. It's a bit deceptive but that's the way the system currently works.
Anyway, that's where I will leave it for now. Enjoy the next 2 days, the following 2 weeks look rather bleak. Roll weather...TS