NOTHING BUT BLUE SKIES...
It was nothing but blue skies around the Midwest Friday with high pressure perched over the Great Lakes.
The dry air originating in Canada was funneling very dry air into the central U.S. with precipitable water values barely over 1/10th of an inch.
That's bone dry air with that amount of water vapor only 20-25 percent of normal levels.
As one would expect, that lead to the bright blue skies that ruled the day. The white you see on the satellite is lingering snow cover in northern Iowa and Minnesota.
The dry air will be around long enough to provide my area with dry weather through much of the day Monday. However, by that time a brisk southerly flow on the backside of the ridge will allow moisture to return in earnest. Notice water vapor levels pushing an inch all the way into southeast Iowa Monday night.
With the air mass initially so dry it will take some time for saturation to take place despite the increased moisture so rain should hold off until early Monday evening if current trends hold. Overnight rain quickly spreads east as forcing increases ahead of a surface low that deepens to 994mb when it enters central Iowa.
With the best and most prolonged forcing focused on central Iowa, that's where the heaviest rains are anticipated with widespread amounts of 1 to 2 inches. In my area, the region east of the Mississippi (southeast of the Quad Cities) gets clipped by the dry slot keeping amounts lower than in my counties further west in Iowa. The GFS is showing this for rain totals.
The GFS has a similar idea with its rain totals although it is a little heavier east of the river.
The snowy side of the storm remains well to the northwest.
Temperatures ahead of the system will gradually warm through the weekend with mostly sunny skies. Highs Saturday reach the mid to upper 50s while Sunday readings in the range of 60-65 look likely. With plenty of clouds and a few spotty showers ahead of the main energy, Monday remains mild with highs close to 60.
A cooling trend is expected behind the storm the middle of next week. Nothing terrible though with low 50s expected, not far from normal.
Before I go, here's the latest thinking from NOAA on long range projections for April and the three month period April through June. If the experts are right, we can expect warmer than normal temperatures. With the La Nina still in play that makes sense to me. La Nina on the ENSO projections below is a negative value. Anything above zero is trending toward El Nino. It's also interesting that going into next winter (October-December), La Nina conditions are again favored by most of the dynamical models. This past winter was spent in moderate La Nina conditions.
OK, here's the temperature and precipitation outlooks for April.