A THUNDERY CHANGE...
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A LATE SNOW SURGE
We had ourselves quite the weekend around the central Midwest with two significant areas of snow. Not everybody got in on the action but for those who did, things were nice and white for a time. Here's Sunday's snow system with up to 9" NW of Ames.
Friday's nights storm plastered EC Iowa and NW Illinois with 9-17" totals in the max band.
With the recent snow, the seasonal snowfall has reached near to even above normal levels in the northern half of my area. The south remains in a snow drought with many of my southern counties, especially near and south of HWY 34 only in the 8-12" range.
Here's some actual numbers for seasonal snowfall. Lowden, Iowa in the EC part of the Iowa is way above normal at nearly 61 inches. That's a big year. Keokuk, just 125 miles south has only 1.7 inches. That's a remarkable spread.
Out of all that weekend snow, not much of it remains outside of snow piles as of Monday evening. There's still plenty of it on the ground though in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.
This energetic pattern that has kept the weather hopping recently looks to be around into early next week. There also appears to be another strong storm in the cards late this week. Before we get to that, a stray shower may clip my southern counties Tuesday morning and spotty snow showers are possible in the north late Tuesday night. Both of these disturbances are weak and fast moving so precipitation looks widely scattered, light, and brief. However, temperatures will remain on the chilly side, especially on Wednesday. After highs in the upper 40s to low 50s Tuesday, a cold front will force highs back into the upper 30s north to mid 40s south on Wednesday. It will be a rather brisk day.
STRONG SPRING STORM TO END THE WEEK...
Thursday a strong storm ejects out of the southwest and generates what should be another potent spring storm. This time around the heavy snow avoids the area but the trade off could be some active thunderstorms Friday. Before those arrive, strong warm advection approaches Thursday which results in clouds and perhaps some showers Thursday afternoon. The primary warm front makes a run at my far southwestern counties where highs could approach 60. The north won't be so fortunate and it appears another breezy cool day is likely there. Here's what the EURO shows for highs Thursday.
Friday a deepening surface low is shown advancing far enough north to get most of the area into the 60s, perhaps even 70 in the south.
The Canadian keeps that warm front hugging I-80 which is a cooler scenario for anybody north of it. I have seen many times where the warm front is initially shown reaching HWY 20 but enhancement off the cool water's of Lake Michigan cuts it off over southern Iowa. That is something we need to watch.
A THUNDERY CHANGE
Otherwise, if the GFS and EURO are correct much of the area turns up mild. Additionally, moisture levels surge with dew points potentially reaching the low 60s. That's thunderstorm weather.
Now you have warmth and moisture in place which leads to instability. Throw in an intensifying surface low generating a strong low level jet and potentially shear and you have some severe weather potential.
The combination could set the table for a severe weather outbreak somewhere in the central Midwest Friday. SPC already has much of the area in an enhanced outlook as of Monday. That's pretty early in the game to be seeing such a threat.
I think it's a sure bet showers and thunderstorms will be in the region Friday. The big question is the strength of any storms. The amount of instability realized and the timing of the surface features will determine the severe weather threat. There are certainly some strong indicators for severe weather but whether they line up in my area remains to be seen. If anything, this is certainly a sign that spring which has alluded us to this point, is alive and well. Roll weather...TS