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A LITTLE EXTRA HOP FOR THE BUNNY THIS YEAR...

If you caught my post Wednesday, a big topic of discussion was the long range temperatures next week. The operational EURO was super toasty showing high temperatures in the 70s and 80s. I was fine with the general idea of warmth through Tuesday but after that I mentioned sharks in the water and not to buy into the 80, 83, and 76 degree highs of April 7-9th.

I gave a lengthy discussion of why I was concerned and one of the primary reasons was the EURO ensembles. Comprised of an average of 51 members instead of 1, its output (below) showed significant late week cooling instead of the blow torch 80's of the operational run. That told me many of the ensemble members were much cooler and to be wary.

Today, the latest ensemble (below) are consistent with yesterdays run and that helps build overall confidence in cooling after next Tuesday. The point I'm trying to make is even the best model can have it's flaws. Taking any model at face value is not enough, especially when something feels off. As a forecaster you need to do the dirty work and look into the ensembles. If they are showing something significantly different than their operational counterpart, you need to smell the rat. The traps been set and you don't want to be the next one giving off the stench.

All that said, the one thing we have determined is that we've got some really spring like temperatures to look forward to Easter weekend and early next week. Something else that's readily apparent is that the cold air that grips us again today is really DRY! It will take several days for moisture to work back into the pattern so dry weather will dominate through Easter Sunday. Just look at PWAT values Thursday, (available water vapor). Extremely low.

They are only 20 percent of what they should be.

Then next week the door opens to Gulf moisture and up it comes. Available water vapor by Wednesday morning is approaching 1.50" up to SE Iowa on the GFS.

That's 250 percent higher than normal. What a change!

Of course, by then warmer air is in place and the potential is there for scattered thunderstorms. The first shot is Monday but those look rather spotty. The potential is there for more widespread activity Tuesday and Wednesday. Depending on the position of fronts and forcing, some strong storms are possible around some part of the central Midwest. We'll know more on that in a couple days.


With the threat of convection (thunderstorms) some areas could see heavy rains. Right now the GFS is the only major model picking up on the threat. It shows this for total rain by the end of next Friday. Most of this falls Tuesday-Thursday. The EURO is lighter so this is far from a sure thing.

The other trend I'm starting to notice is cooler temperatures returning for the end of next week extending into mid-April. Here's the day 10-15 temperature departures off the GFS. The EURO is not nearly as ambitious with the cold (especially in its ensembles) and I'm hoping its right, but I can see some validity to what the GFS is pointing at. Plenty of time to worry about such a cool down.

Whatever happens, after another crisp day today big warmth is coming for the weekend. The Easter bunny will have a little extra hop this year! Roll weather...TS

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