CAN'T GET AN INCH OF SATISFACTION...
Tuesday morning was disgustingly cold around the central Midwest. So chilly that record lows were established in Cedar Rapids and Burlington. Most other cities were within 1-3 degrees of their daily records as well.
That's the 2nd record low for Cedar Rapids in just a weeks time. Last Tuesday they hit 19 and this week it was 22. So far 19 of the months 26 days have seen lows at or below 32. That's enough of that stuff!
Here's some of lows from around Iowa Tuesday morning. Several 19's reported in NW Iowa.
As frisky as it was, lows of 32 are not at all uncommon on late April. What is (is the enduring cold), which has prevailed the majority of the month. As you can see, the average date of the last freeze typically occurs between April 10th and 30th from south to north around the majority of my area.
When it comes to all-time spring cold, Belle Plaine, Iowa and Morrison, Illinois share the honor of the latest spring freeze in my area. Both hit 32 May 31st. Belle Plaine did it in1963 and Morrison in 1996. If that happens this year I'll lose my mind....just say no to cold!
We are in for another cold start Wednesday. Near and north of HWY 30 a freeze warning is in effect until 8:00am. The majority of my counties further south are under frost advisories. I think we'll see enough of a breeze and clouds by morning to mitigate the impacts of the cold on tender plants, buds, and flowers.
After the cold start the northern 2/3rd's of my area will have a difficult time warming up the next 2 days as a stationary front lays out near HWY 34 in SE Iowa and WC Illinois. South of it under partly cloudy skies highs Wednesday will be in the 65 to 70 degree range. North of there, mid level clouds and an east wind drawing chilly air off the cold water of Lake Michigan will have a very negative effect on temperatures with highs upper 40s far north to mid 50s central. Thursday the cool air backs even further into my southern counties as high pressure builds into the Great Lakes. Wind trajectories remain pretty much the same Friday so highs will generally be in the 50 to 55 degree range both days...maybe upper 50s to near 60 far south. Again, well below normal.
This pattern also lends itself to some showers, especially Thursday/Thursday night but in general amounts will be fairly light (1/4" or less) and there will be plenty of dry hours. However, clouds, brisk winds, and chilly temperatures will make for more dismal weather. I just can't get me no satisfaction!
Rain chances go up Friday night and Saturday as the primary storm spins out of the Plains into northern Iowa. That track eventually puts us in the warm sector of an occluding front. We should see a significant uptick in temperatures Saturday, especially across the south. Before that clouds, showers, and perhaps a few thunderstorms will occur out ahead of the front as it slowly pushes through the area Friday night and Saturday. Saturday morning has the potential to be wet and cloudy but conditions should improve from south to north in the afternoon. Both the EURO and GFS show the potential for highs to reach 65 to 70 from about I-80 south. As you go north readings are cooler with highs more in the range of 58-64. It will take a couple more days before we get a true handle on how the day plays out. The GFS shows this for highs Saturday.
As for rain, both the GFS and EURO are suggesting some generous totals in that period depending on your location. Here's what they are showing for amounts Friday night through Saturday.
Sunday we are on the back side of the storm which allows brisk west winds to draw colder air quickly back in for Sunday. It looks to be a blustery day with readings back in the upper 50s north to the low to mid 60s south.
The next few days at the very least are going to be breezy, at worst windy at times. That continues the trend of a windy month which many of you have commented on. This graphic shows the number of hours in April with wind gusts of 20 mph or greater in Cedar Rapids. Only 2 years going back to 1995 have we seen a windier April based on that parameter.
Here's the same data for Moline. Only 2 years since 1984 have we seen more hours with 20mph gusts in April.
Overall, the pattern shows little hint of change the next 10 days with active periods and cooler than normal temperatures. I close with this, the 30 day temperature outlook produced by the U.S. climate model the CFSv2.
Let's hope the model is way off base or farmers could have some serious issues to deal with the month of May. Those are extreme anomalies for a 30 day period. Geez...
Obviously I don't like the look of the CFSv2 and no should you. I'm pretty sure it's way over blown....but you never know. We'll have the answer in a month. Meantime, have a sensational hump day and roll weather...TS