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LATE WINTER COLD SHOT...

Thursday was a cold winter's day around the Midwest with the added trimmings of some snow in the southern half of my area. As expected, accumulations weren't much to write home about unless you were near and south of I-80 where 1-2" totals were found along with some slick roads. Here's snow reports thanks to the Iowa internet.

Here's a larger perspective showing the southern track of the system through Thursday evening.

What snow fell was of the dry fluffy variety with minimal water content. Most of the measured water amounts were under 1/10th of an inch. Therefore, the dry pattern much of my area has endured for months continues. February in Iowa was the 5th driest in 128 years of records. Not far away, Indiana closer to the storm track, had its 5th wettest February since 1895. Wow, feast or famine.

For the winter as a whole (December-February), it was one of the driest on record for much of Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. In fact, it was the driest on record from NE Kansas into SE Nebraska. You can readily see the corridor of dry weather extending from NW Oklahoma through Iowa into Wisconsin and NW Michigan below.

The latest drought monitor issued March 8th indicates all of my region in abnormally dry conditions with moderate drought in my counties near and north of I-80.

The next couple of months will be critical in replenishing sub-soil moisture necessary to keep crops growing and healthy during the hotter months of summer. To that point, the EURO weeklies which go out through the end of April do indicate wetter weather ahead. Here's what it shows for total precipitation ending April 25th.

For perspective, those amounts in my area would be 4-7 inches above the norms.

Short term, that's not in the cards as generally dry conditions are expected over the next week. The GFS depicts precipitation departures like this through next Thursday.

While it won't be stormy, our weather will be variable in terms of temperatures the next week. We start with a downer in the form of an Arctic front which sails across the region Friday. Temperatures will fall steadily Friday afternoon and night behind the front. After highs Friday in the upper 20s to low 30s, lows Saturday morning will tumble into the single digits. The GFS shows lows like this.

Those temperatures are about 20-25 degrees below normal.

Winds will also be a factor out of the NW at 15-25 mph, cold enough to produce wind chills of 5 to 10 below zero, perhaps 15 below in a few northern locations. Hopefully, that's the coldest we'll see for the rest of the cold season and many months to come.

Starting Sunday the pattern de-amplifies and a sustained warm-up is on the board next week. Highs go from the 20s Saturday to the 50s Sunday. By Tuesday we have a good shot at hitting 60 and we should stay in the 60s through at least Thursday. Here's the 7 day temperature departures on the EURO March 15th-22nd. I like the looks of that.

So while temperatures will be a bit painful the next 48 hours, we will more than make up for it next week. Patience my friends! Roll weather...TS


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