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GETTING IT STRAIGHT...


The remnants of a slow moving storm have finally departed the central Midwest. Skies have cleared or turned partly cloudy setting the stage for what looks to be a fine spring day of weather. The addition of strong May sunshine and a lighter wind regime will provide the set-up for warmer highs in the mid to upper 70s. Just what the doctor ordered.


This will make for good drying weather that will be appreciated in parts of my area where up to 2 inches of rain fell Sunday, (which by the way was a miserable day at my place in Dubuque). In the afternoon...a driving wind swept rain and a temperature of 48 degrees made for conditions reminiscent of early March. Here's the Doppler estimates of weekend rainfall. Morrison reported 1.65" with 1.61" measured in Dubuque.

The last 2 weeks have been wet, typical for May. Many parts of the central Midwest have picked up 2-3 inches of rain. Substantially more has occurred from Nebraska through NW Iowa into southern Minnesota.

Our next weather maker comes in the form of a back-door cool front Tuesday night. A dry air mass ensures that little more than scattered clouds will be found along the front. However, a wind shift to the north will cool temperatures Wednesday, especially over the NE half of my region. Highs in that area will slip back into the upper 60s with low to mid 70s elsewhere. Still a pleasant day.


Thursday readings are already on the way back up in advance of a small but potent upper air disturbance that dives in from the northwest. In the animation below you can see the compact energy digging southeast. It's in Canada Tuesday before advancing to the Great Lakes Saturday morning.

Timing is a bit in question with regards to the passage of the associated cold front and its forcing. Most guidance brings the front in Thursday night which allows for some respectable warm air advection during the day. There's even indications that dew points could climb back into the low 60s.

Combined with highs in the upper 70s to low 80s, CAPE (instability) is shown reaching moderate levels.

That would set the stage for showers and storms Thursday night. If the front arrives during the evening, a line of active storms are possible on the front as it swings through. A few strong cells are possible. I do stress that it's all contingent on the timing of forcing tied to mesoscale details that won't be known for 24-36 hours. The fast movement should preclude heavy rain but at least scattered brief downpours are on the table in the stronger updrafts. If the timing of the front holds, any lingering rains exit the southeast Friday morning. The system doesn't look like a big severe weather maker but it has enough going for it to keep an eye on in coming days.


The biggest impact of the front will be a quick shot of cooler air that surges into the region Friday. The GFS (which I consider an outlier), holds highs Friday in the mid to upper 50s north with low to mid 60s south.

However, the EURO is significantly warmer with readings at least 10 degrees warmer Friday in the upper 60s to low 70s. I would lean a bit more toward the EURO at this point in the game. I hope to have better consistency on that issue in my next post.

By Saturday morning the core of what cold air comes is directly overhead. With fair skies and light winds the GFS allows temperatures to plunge into the upper 30s in my northern counties. That may be a bit aggressive but rest assured, Saturday does start nice and crisp areawide.

CONSIDER A STAY AT ONE OF THE MOST UNIQUE ACCOMMODATIONS IN THE MIDWEST...

LOOKING MORE LIKE JUNE?

Beyond that, the rest of the weekend looks very pleasant. Mostly sunny skies will rule and temperatures will range from 65-70 Saturday to 70-75 Sunday.


Looking ahead, the Climate Prediction Center is indicating a more summery pattern. Their 8-14 day outlook indicates a good chance of above normal temperatures in the Memorial Day Holiday period May 23-29th.

Precipitation remains near to below normal with a zonal flow restricting the flow of rich moisture into the Midwest.

For the most part, the rest of May appears to be fairly friendly with limited precipitation and temperatures that for the most part should average near to above normal. That works for me! Roll weather...TS

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