STUCK IN THE MUCK...
It's day 3 of storm which has been producing periods of rain since Monday night. The rain hasn't been especially heavy but the long duration of it has allowed amounts to add up. Most of my region has seen totals of 3/4 to 1.25 inches. Here are Doppler estimated rains for the 24 hour period ending Wednesday evening.
This storm so far has brought about an inch of rain to the NWS office in the Quad Cities. That coupled with the rains of last Thursday and Friday have combined to produce a total of 1.77 inches there in 6 days. That's 1/4 inch more than the previous 76 days (2.5 months) were able to produce. Great news for dry soils and the mitigation of drought conditions that have existed over my central and northern counties for several months.
This large storm continues to gyrate over the eastern half of the nation as seen in the satellite imagery below.
The upper air low will finally eject Thursday night as a kicker dives into the upper air pattern from the northwest. That essentially "kicks" the system east where its energy absorbs the kicker creating a large eastern trough to start the weekend. You can watch the process in the animation below ending Saturday evening.
The resulting NW flow looks to be a feature that's locked place much of the next two weeks allowing below normal temperatures to control the NE half of the U.S. (including the central Midwest). That said, we should see a nice bump in readings Tuesday and perhaps parts of Wednesday ahead of out next push of cold air. The next animation depicts the predominance of cool air in the temperature departures the remainder of March.
Another potentially strong spring storm is on the charts starting Tuesday of next week. It looks to tap gulf moisture and could produce significant precipitation. I would stress it's early in the game and phasing is still far from certain so confidence is moderate at best as to how much rain will fall. The GFS show this for potential liquid amounts.
The EURO came in like this.
The cool wet pattern is consistent with what the Climate Prediction Center indicates in its 6-10 day outlook.
Before all of that, we still have the remnants of our current system to deal with. Now that the storm is drifting east much cooler air is invading and Thursday morning we start with temperatures in the range of 33 to 38. Under the cold core, instability remains strong and scattered showers have become mixed with (or have changed to snow) west of the Mississippi overnight. A few of these will continue to dot the area Thursday as instability remains high. Most spots will escape accumulations (worst case a dusting on grassy and elevated surfaces in the far northwest up near HWY 20). The 3K NAM shows this for snow totals but I suspect these are overdone.
Temperatures Thursday will be nice and fresh with little movement of readings throughout the day. Highs overall should remain in the upper 30s to low 40s with wind chills in the low to mid 30s. A raw day to be sure.
Friday the focus is on a vigorous upper air disturbance (the kicker alluded to above) that whips southeast. Steep lapse rates are likely to result in gusty NW winds that should reach 30-35 in the afternoon. The cold pocket aloft could also generate a few rain or snow showers. These will be light and fast movers and should be confined to the northeast half of the area (roughly NE of the Quad Cities). Temperatures will reach the low 40s to near 50 and then fall as the cold air and spotty showers pass later in the day.
Skies will clear and temperatures will tank Friday night with lows reaching well into the 20s by daybreak. A hard freeze is likely with the EURO showing lows that look like this.
Wind chills will be a noticeable factor dipping into the teens. No thanks!
The rest of the weekend looks chilly and quiet. No rain or snow is expected as we get a respite from the recent wet weather. Glad to see the grass getting green in spots and all the buds on the trees. March is marching along and better days will soon be here again. The sooner the better! Roll weather...TS