A STORMY PATTERN...
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A STORMY LOOKING PATTERN...
Since mid-January we've been in an active pattern that's brought regular storms and above normal precipitation to the central Midwest. In my region, we've seen 100 to 150 percent of our mean 30 day precipitation.
Snowfall in the NW half of my area has been 125 to 175 percent above the 30 day mean with an active storm track through eastern Iowa and NW Illinois
Wednesday's storm was a healthy rain producer, especially in the SE half of my area, (roughly the Quad Cities south and east). Over an inch feel in spots with 2-3 inch totals found in a swath south of Peoria and Bloomington. Here's the Doppler estimates.
The favored pattern during this active period has been a west coast trough and east coast ridge, such as we saw with Wednesday's system below.
Not only has that brought precipitation to the Midwest, it's delivered heavy rain and mountain snows to the west. Going into the fall much of that region was plagued by drought that was considered extreme to even exceptional in many areas. However, since the mean pattern began favoring a western trough in December you can see drought conditions have improved significantly out west since August 31st.
It gets even better the next 2 weeks with precipitation departures way above normal over the SW.
It appears wet conditions will continue in the central Midwest too as the loading pattern for storms continues to be anchored by the southwest trough which ejects energy/storms into the nation. 500mb heights from Alaska to western Greenland point to a blocking pattern consisting of high pressure that extends across Canada. With the blocking to the north, these storms will likely cut east across the country keeping things very active into mid March. I would expect above normal precipitation and while tempertures may end up close to normal, we'll likely see some pretty good swings with a set-up like that.
These are the precipitation departures forecast the next 10 days on the EURO. That's about as wet as it gets for late February and early March.
The actual precipitation totals look like this. Holy cow, that's insane.