JUST A LITTLE BIT FLAKY...
Today's blog starts with the premise, things can always be worse. Proving my point is the historic blizzard that has blasted much of North Dakota. The 3 day storm has produced 36 inches of snow in Minot with a wind gust of 63 miles an hour. That's more snow than we had the entire winter here in the Quad Cities. With the storm winding down here's some of totals reported so far.
Here's a few pictures to give you a little feel for how tough things are up that way.
This is I-94 which was closed for quite some time.
Beulah North Dakota with some fabulous drifts.
Have fun digging out of that!
Whiteout conditions near Mandan on I-94
Believe it or not, another storm is on the way to North Dakota Easter that could bring another foot of snow to Minot. 48 inches in less than a week. Why not!
While were on the topic of snow, things could get a little flaky around parts of my area this Easter weekend. The first opportunity comes early Friday as a fast moving short wave zips east in confluent flow underneath a deep 500mb upper low over Minnesota. The same storm that's slammed North Dakota.
The lower levels are very dry and the lack of moisture will make it difficult for snow to reach the ground before it evaporates. However, some scattered snow showers are a possibility especially in the south. I currently do not expect any accumulation. However, I won't be at all surprised to see a few snowflakes around early Friday. The short wave gets quickly shot out of the area and will be followed by some sunshine. Highs should get back in the upper 40s north to the low to mid 50s south. Winds will also be far less than what we saw Thursday when gusts of 50 mph were common around the region.
Saturday brings sunshine and chilly temperatures with highs expected to range from the mid 40s to low 50s. Well below the norms which are now in the upper 50s north to low 60s south.
Easter Sunday does pose a risk for scattered rain showers (perhaps mixed with a bit of snow at times in my northwest counties), mainly in the afternoon and evening. Thermal profiles aloft are cold enough for snow but the low levels will be warm enough to make it difficult for snow to reach the ground during the day. After sunset Sunday night is when the window opens for any snowflakes to reach the ground, particularly north of HWY 30. Overall, precipitation amounts are likely to be light, under 1/10th of an inch in my opinion. The GFS is heavier but I consider it to be an outlier at this point. Here's the EURO precipitation totals Sunday afternoon and evening. More to my liking than what the GFS is showing.
The GFS has this for snowfall. Pretty unlikely in my opinion although there could be some minor accumulations on grassy surfaces in the north towards evening and beyond.
The EURO keeps the snow out of my area.
The bottom line is that Easter won't be great by April 17th standards. Highs will be held to the low to mid 40s and there is likely to be little if any sunshine. A few showers are possible later but they will be light, certainly no washout. Sunday evening looks to have the greatest chance of any meaningful rain or snow showers.
It still appears there is reason to believe warmer weather is in the long range forecast. However, the next 7 days out through next Wednesday will remain cool. The EURO show these departures over the 7 day period.
A much better look is present April 22-29th with these 7 day departures.
Precipitation chances have decreased over both the week one and week two periods with a zonal flow developing for much of the period. Here's the departures
WEEK 1 PRECIPITATION
WEEK 2 PRECIPITATION
Over the 15 day period departures mount with much of the area shown 1.5 to 2 inches below normal. We'll see.
At least for now, cool is the rule into early next week. At least no major storms are anticipated and we have warmer conditions to look forward to towards the middle of next week. Have an exceptional Friday and a very happy Easter. Roll weather...TS