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I'm one of the guys who will tell you New years Eve, that if you can just get through February, it's all downhill after that. Well, here we are (marching into March), and by all accounts there is plenty to look forward to in our weather this weekend. That includes the possibility of record highs!

Before I get to the coming warmth, I do want to comment on some preliminary numbers out of Moline. Let's start with the monthly temperature plots, which show 26 of the 29 days with above normal readings and a monthly max of 79. Highs in the 60s and 70s occurred on 7 days. The coldest high the entire month was 32 and the average high a robust 52 degrees!

I do not know if Thursday's readings are included, but the NWS site shows February as the all-time warmest, with an average temperature of 39.8. My numbers, shaky as they are, show 39.5 which ties 1882 as number one. The average high of 52 and low of 27 would also be monthly records. Again, this is preliminary and whether we end up one or two, it was very toasty.

We do know the month was very dry area wide, with just .26" of precipitation in Moline. That's good for 9th driest. Snow was 0.6" which makes it the 7th least snowy. If you hate cold and snow, you won't find a February better than what we just put in the books.


Friday a minor disturbance will lift NE towards the Ohio Valley out ahead of a new trough digging into the west. The cold pocket aloft might scare up a few brief showers or sprinkles in the SE, but nothing likely to even settle the dust. Clouds will be a factor though, especially across the SE half where low to mid 40s are possible. Some filtered sun may make it through in the far NW where upper 40s are more likely. The HRRR show this.

Saturday, the door swings wide open for another major warm-up thanks to a 500mb pattern that exemplifies spring?

One factor that is lacking for such an impressive trough is moisture. Dew points Saturday remain in the 40s and are still not much more than 50 Sunday. That should keep things dry and enhance the ability for temperatures to warm even more than guidance is suggesting. I still feel the potential is there Sunday for highs in the south to hit 80 with 850 temperatures surging into the mid-teens. At the worst, the GFS has this for highs Sunday. Record highs are certainly on the table. I want more of that sugar!

Lots of places are shown 31–37 degrees above normal. For perspective, if we were 31-37 below normal, that would hold "highs" to the range of 5-10. No thank you sir.

A cold front enters the picture Sunday night. If deeper moisture was in place, it could really set off a round of storms. However, those 50 degree dew points should keep precipitation scattered and generally light if any develops at all. The north is most favored for rain closer to the better dynamics.

What could work in our favor is a slower frontal passage, which allows more moisture to get into the pattern. There has also been a trend for a post frontal wave, that might get us some rain Monday. There is disagreement on how progressive the system will be, which leaves doubt regarding how much of a rain producer this front can be. We should have a better idea on the evolution later Friday. We could sure use some rain though. As for now, here's what models are suggesting for precipitation totals.



Once the disturbance passes, temperatures will cool noticeably but still remain above normal. On that note, the MJO (Madden Julien Oscillation) is shown traveling through the mild phases of 4 through 7 the rest of March. Those are friendly with generally above normal correlations to temperatures. We'll keep an eye on that trend as well.

I guess I'll leave it at that for now. A happy Friday to one and all and roll weather...TS

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