DRYING OUT, WARMING UP...
You know it's spring when you wake up in the morning to the sound of thunder. That was the case for me Friday morning as large rather slow moving storm brought waves of rain, some thunderstorms, and much cooler conditions to the central Midwest. Here's the classic look of the storm by way of the hi-res GOES satellite Friday evening. The low pressure is centered near St. Louis.
Below you can see a significant precipitation shield wrapping around the storm center. Some wet snow or rain and snow mixed was occurring in parts of central Iowa. Had this been a couple weeks earlier with more cold air in place, this would have been a big snowmaker for much of my region.
For many places in my area, this was the largest precipitation event of 2022 to date with amounts of 1/2 to 1 inch common. Below is the Doppler estimates through Friday evening with rain continuing to fall.
While the worst of the storm will be over by Saturday morning, clouds and lingering light showers or drizzle could be scattered around in the early morning hours mainly east of the Mississippi. In spots, the light precipitation could be mixed with or briefly change to some very light snow, especially in the northwestern half of my area. With temperatures at the surface still in the mid 30s it won't amount to much, (if it even happens). However, before sunrise Saturday it's possible there could have been some minor accumulations on grassy and elevated surfaces NW of a line from roughly Cedar Rapids to Dubuque. The HRRR and 3k NAM showed this for amounts from Midnight Friday night to 6:00am Saturday morning.
The 3K NAM
The scattered early morning showers Saturday quickly come to an end from west to east in the morning with clearing gradually spreading east during the day. Assuming we get the sunshine early enough highs should reach the low 50s SW and the upper 40s NE. The day will end much better than it starts.
SPRING IS SPRUNG
Sunday and Monday the tide turns and warmer air quickly surges back into the Midwest. As spring officially arrives Sunday at 10:33am (the time of the vernal equinox), temperatures will be warming leading to highs in the low to mid 60s by the end of the day. Monday has the potential to be even warmer with highs pushing 70 over at least the southern half of my area.
SO MUCH FOR SPRING...
After that the next storm gets it's act together and its expected to be another slow mover with the potential to bring another decent rain event. The system is forecast to close off at 500mb which means it gets cut-off from the westerlies which drastically reduces its speed of movement. With plenty of moisture and dynamics to work with an extensive precipitation shied is likely. You can watch the evolution of the storm on the EURO Tuesday through Thursday in the animation below.
It looks as though the stage is set for many parts of the central U.S. to receive significant precipitation. Here's the totals forecast by the EURO and GFS. Needless to say it's early but some healthy trends are showing.
Initially my area is in the warm sector of the storm Tuesday but readings will gradually fall as the system grinds across the Midwest. Highs Tuesday will reach 50 to 60 with the onset of rain, cool to 40-50 Wednesday, and then hold in the range of 35-40 Thursday. By then any lingering showers change from rain to snow. At this point both the EURO and GFS keep the meaningful snows just to the north but not by much. Here's what they indicate for snow potential. This is very much subject to change and highly dependent on the eventual track.
The active pattern is expected to close out the month with the GFS and EURO indicating precipitation amounts the next 2 weeks that are well above normal.
It certainly looks like the weather madness of March will prevail with an uptick in precipitation and plenty of temperature fluctuations. It's actually pretty typical of this time of year. Have a sensational weekend and roll weather...TS