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For those of you out and about Tuesday morning, frost and freezing temperatures were a sign spring has not fully sprung around the Midwest. Most of my area was well into the 20s for lows with Cedar Rapids going the distance establishing a record low of 19 degrees! Clarion, Iowa reached 16 and Marshalltown was right behind at 17. Dang.

A sampling of some of the lows reported around Iowa Tuesday morning thanks to the Iowa Mesonet.

These were temperatures reported around the Midwest at 6:00am Tuesday.

After the clear cold start, clouds were on the increase again during the afternoon signaling the arrival of our next rain maker Wednesday. (At least we got in a day without much in the way of wind, a real bonus). On the Satellite you can see the coming system is broad with plenty of clouds that will lead to a cool, dreary Wednesday with rain likely, especially in the afternoon.

The GFS is faster saturating the atmosphere and gets rain going in the morning. The EURO is slower to the table and holds it off until afternoon, especially east of the river. Eventually, ascent increases ahead of the short wave and its attendant warm advection, and everybody gets in on the rain. In general, instability is marginal so thunder looks limited. As a result, rain is likely to end up light to occasionally moderate. Here's what the EURO and GFS indicate for rain potential through Wednesday night.



Wednesday's storm marks the beginning of an active pattern where rain is possible in spots everyday Wednesday through Sunday. Fortunately it won't rain all the time and what we see Thursday and Saturday night will largely be at night. This is all tied to another potent upper air low that originates in the SW and spins its way north into the NC United States Sunday. You can watch the EURO's evolution of the energy at 500mb in this animation Tuesday through Sunday.

Before the storm gets cranking, we will see a warming trend commence Thursday under return flow and partly sunny skies. Highs have a good chance of reaching the mid to upper 60s, perhaps 70 in the southwest.

Thursday night a warm front begins to advance on my southern counties. After dark the low level jet will kick in along with warm advection allowing showers and thunderstorms to develop north of the front. Some of these will have the ability to produce heavy rain and perhaps a bit of hail as they will be elevated in nature. The big question now is where will the front be positioned. Not only will that impact where the storms occur Thursday night, it also determines where rain falls Friday impacting how warm temperatures can get later in the day. Over the past 24 hours the GFS and EURO flip flopped with the EURO slower with the warm front and the GFS faster.

The implications are that the GFS gets Thursday night's rain well into my central and southern counties, at least to HWY 30. On Friday, it ends the rains early in the south and gets them out of the north in the afternoon. The northward push allows warmer temperatures with the GFS indicating highs like this.

The EURO does end most of the rain by late afternoon in all locations but is certainly cooler showing highs that look like this. Readings north of I-80 are a good 8 to 10 degrees cooler.

I like a compromise solution more like what the 12k NAM indicates with a sharp contrast in readings from the north to south of about 20-25 degrees. I expect the warm front has a tough time getting very far north of I-80. The cold waters of Lake Michigan will take time to overcome and have a say in how this plays out.

Eventually Friday night the warm front is shown surging through leaving all of my area in the warm sector. With minimal forcing chances for showers and storms go down significantly both Friday night and during the day Saturday. With brisk south winds moisture and temperatures will make for a mild feeling spring like day with highs mid to upper 70s. If we can break out a bit more sunshine than models are indicating, an 80 degree high might be achievable in spots, especially in the SW half. The EURO came in like this and I think it looks solid.

Saturday night with warmth and moisture in place, there will be enough instability for showers and thunderstorms to develop ahead of a cold front. Timing among models is fairly consistent that the front does not enter my area until after midnight. That is not optimal for severe storms so that threat may may be minimal compared to what it will be further west at peak heating. I still think forcing is strong enough for scattered storms but probably more of the garden variety.

Any lingering rain departs Sunday morning from northwest to southeast across my area and NW winds bring an end to Saturday's brief spring fling. Here's what models are indicating for total precipitation Wednesday through Sunday. Some soaking rains look likely in many spots, which is still needed so a good thing in that respect.



Now the bad news. After the weekend the pattern reverts to the colder look we have seen the majority of this month. The 10 day temperature departures on the EURO April 24th-29th are not a welcome sight.

The GFS departures for the same period are not much better.

At least the models are currently not showing any snow in this area but there is still a lot of it in the pattern over the northern third of the nation. Dang, that's a snowy look out to May 4th. I am not a fan of April in Midwest, I'm sure I've said that way too many times this spring!

Well, that's all I have for you this go round. Chin up brother's and sister's, we'll get there sooner or later. As the saying goes, it's all about the journey. Roll weather...TS


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