It wasn't anything to write home about but the long talked of warming trend did get underway around the region Friday. Highs in most of my area broke 70 for the first time in nearly a week.. That's still a few degrees below normal but a sure sign the pattern is trending warmer. As proof I offer the GFS ensemble 16 day temperature outlook for Cedar Rapids which keeps highs in the 74-84 degree range from Saturday May 24th to Sunday June 7th. (a mild 16 day period).
Here's what the temperature departures look like for the coming 10 days.
Compare that May's departures so far and you can see that's a big reversal from the chilly conditions that have dominated the month so far..
In Cedar Rapids and the majority of Iowa average May temperatures are running 5-8 degrees below normal.
These are the May departures for the corn belt as a whole. It's been chilly across the board.
In most areas the corn and bean crops are planted but germination has been slowed by the cool weather. Growing degree days are far below normal in the last report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture
So, for agricultural interests and most people in general, the warmer weather will come as welcome news. The price we pay is renewed rounds of showers and thunderstorms. Some of those are moving though the region as we speak as the warmth and moisture returns to the area. These will end from south to north Saturday as the warm front advances northward during the day. By evening highs should look like this. Aside from my far northern counties most areas will reach well into the 70s.
That sets the stage for the big warm-up that brings us our first full taste of summer Sunday and Monday. Highs both days will be in the 80s. Take a look.
Along with the warmth dew points will be up around 70 which will make things nice and muggy. The GFS shows the heat index reaching into the low 90s over much of the area near and south of HWY 30 Sunday! .
The upper air pattern will also be rather sluggish and that means the risk of showers and thunderstorms will be in the area Sunday through Wednesday of the coming week. Depending on the timing and placement of short wave energy, the risk of heavy rains is a consideration where thunderstorms materialize. That's something that will need to be refined in coming days as the position of outflow boundaries becomes a factor from each days convection. The Weather Prediction Center shows this for total rainfall through Memorial Day. This could vary quite a bit with higher amounts possible in the stronger storms.
That's where things stand for now. Enjoy your holiday and roll weather...TS