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Much of the time, there's a separation that takes place between the northern and southern streams of the jet. They go their separate ways and do their own thing. Occasionally though, an attraction takes place that draws them together and a little kiss leads to a big romance, in this case a potent storm. This happened just over a week ago, and we were pummeled with 2–4 inches of rain, 50mph winds, and up to 7 inches of snow around Dubuque.

Another budding love story is setting up again today but this time around, the match takes place a little further east leaving us out of the heavier precipitation but close enough for some spotty showers, wind, and chilly temperatures. Clearly, far less in terms of impacts here, but a bump in the road nonetheless.




Getting back to the lovely couple, you can watch in this animation how their union occurs, with energy in the southern stream hooking up with another batch diving southeast out of Canada. It spins up a strong closed low over Lake Huron Friday.

At the surface, note the dominate southern stream low heading towards southern Illinois, Wednesday evening. The primary push of moisture and energy remains just to the southeast of my area, as the northern branch enters the picture. This is when phasing kicks in.

Thursday evening, the rings have been exchanged, the ceremony is complete, and the low has deepened to 980mb. (True love). Notice the backlash showers shown as far west as my local area. Winds are also whistling again from the NW at 35-40 mph. Highs Thursday do not get out of the 50s.

Due to our proximity to the storm's western edge, rain totals are likely going to be light, generally 1/10th of an inch or less with the larger totals southeast of the Quad Cities. Amounts really go up in central into eastern Illinois, where some totals greater than one inch are likely. Here's what models are indicating at this point. If there is a bit more last minute phasing, that could push some of the heavier amounts a bit west, but that seems unlikely.



The 3k NAM

The snow with this system stays north of the Great Lakes...a big step in the right direction this late in the year.

The first opportunity for showers in my area looks to hold off until Thursday morning and is primarily focused well east of the Mississippi and my counties in Illinois. Much of the area actually looks dry. A secondary round of forcing arrives as the deepening storm spins backwash moisture and showers back into the region late Thursday afternoon and night. These are expected to be light and scattered, with an emphasis again on my counties in Illinois. That said, with strong winds and temperatures dipping into the 40s, conditions will not be pleasant even if rain is not present.

Fortunately, this is a progressive system which means despite its cut-off nature, it will move along at a decent clip. That limits the extent and duration of the cold air that pivots in behind the system. Any lingering showers end very early Friday, clouds decrease by afternoon, and highs may it back to the mid to upper 50s thanks to the strong mid-April sun.


Saturday return flow is underway as we rapidly transition to W/SW flow aloft. After a chilly start in the mid 30s Saturday morning, sunshine and dry air will allow temperatures to take off. Highs should generally be in the range of 70-75 north to south. Sunday, the potential exists for highs to reach 80 in the south, with mid to upper 70s elsewhere. Moisture will also increase, making for a nice warm spring feeling day.

Monday, another strong storm develops over the Plains. A boundary is shown cutting through Iowa with moisture pooling along it. Instability will be increasing and at some point, perhaps as early as Monday evening, forcing will trigger showers and thunderstorms that could last at times into Tuesday. Depending on mesoscale details yet to be accurately assessed, strong storms are possible in the central Midwest during that period. Locally heavy rain is also on the table. The EURO certainly shows plenty of shear and moisture in place by late day Monday. Something to ponder in days ahead.

Here's a little eye candy for you. It's high temperatures Monday. Terry likes the looks of that.

Needless to say, after one more respectable day, we are going into an active period of weather that has plenty of variety in multiple aspects into early next week. Let's get it on. Roll weather...TS


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