SHOW ME THE RAIN...
The luck of the Irish prevailed over my southern counties St. Patrick's day with another round of very mild temperatures. The north was not so lucky though with clouds, showers, and a much cooler feel to the air. Dubuque picked up 1/10th of an inch of rain on their shamrocks and late in the day was in the mid 40s. (a sign of things to come). At the same time Burlington in my southern counties was enjoying 70 degrees and some sunshine.
Notice how my northwestern counties were 20 to 25 degrees colder than just 24 hours earlier. A tale of two air masses!
The front that brought the chill to the north Thursday will continue to sag south Friday allowing us all to participate in the much cooler air. At noon Friday, the GFS shows widespread readings in the 40s. Along with that, showers and brisk NE winds will combine to create a dismal day of weather.
The leading edge of all that chilly air stalls out over central Missouri Friday in response to a developing low pressure in eastern Oklahoma. Eventually, the low lifts northeast close to St Louis Friday evening bringing a prolonged period of forcing and rain. My area sits in the cold sector and with clouds, occasional rain, and a brisk NE wind, Friday looks to be a lousy day. This animation shows the evolution of the surface and precipitation features on the GFS Thursday night through the day Saturday. The blue even denotes some snow that's possible on the NW fringe of the storm. I'll get to that in a minute.
As for rain totals, they look to be worthy across my area on the order of 1/2 to 1 inch (perhaps a bit more in spots). That is desperately needed as evidenced by the graphic below which shows only two 24 hour rainfall events of an inch or more at the NWS office in Davenport since August. January, February, and March have been woefully dry.
The latest drought monitor issued Thursday shows much of the northern 2/3rds of my area in moderate drought with the rest of my southern counties abnormally dry.
That is why we need rain, especially going into the new growing season. Here's what models are showing for the incoming storm.
The 3k NAM
The 12K NAM