top of page
thumbnail_1 ts baner, future in your hands.png

TALK ABOUT A REAL DOWNER...

As a kid, I can remember memorial day weekend as an exciting time. Temperatures were getting hot, school was over, the swimming pools were opening, and little league was starting. My cares were over and life was pretty darn good!


Many moons later a few things have changed and this year the weather will be one of the things that stands out. Look at the temperature departures for the 4 days that constitute the holiday weekend Friday-Monday. The swimming pools, (those that are even open thanks to COVID) will have an empty look unless there's a roof and 4 walls attached. This just makes me mad.


Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Monday (Memorial Day)

Put the next 5 days together and the combined departures look like this. Are you kidding me. That can't happen to the unofficial start of summer! What a downer.

If it's going to be bad, I always like to get the worst of it out of the way as soon as possible. That's going to be the case as Friday just looks like a very poor day. All the guidance I look at has daytime temperatures in the 40s. This is the GFS Friday evening.

To give you an idea how ridiculous that is, here's the precise temperature departures which are running about 30 degrees below normal. Highs in the mid 40s would be more typical of March 10th. That is sick.

Going a step further, what would Memorial Weekend be without Frost! Yea, you heard me. Prospects are certainly there with the GFS depicting lows Saturday morning that in a few spots in NE Iowa are touching 32. Most areas are in the low to mid 30s, certainly cold enough for scattered frost on the corn sprouts.

The NAM is especially concerning showing widespread lows of 30-32. In the valleys of SW Wisconsin a killing hard freeze is shown with upper teens to mid 20s. Needless to say this is an extreme situation and would be worthy of record lows. Hopefully this solution does not materialize anywhere.

You can see the dip in the jet stream that allows the chill to penetrate deep into the central U.S.

This is also going to scour out any deep moisture for the weekend. However, water vapor remains high Thursday before the chill is established.

Levels go from 1.78" in Burlington, Iowa Thursday (way above normal) to 0.27" Sunday (way below normal). That's what I call drying out.

That change should mean Saturday through Sunday will be dry but far from warm. Monday is not so cut and dry as both the GFS and EURO try to bring clouds and rain into the picture during the afternoon. That would serve to lower temperatures.


Today though becomes a day of transition as colder air arrives bringing rain and in some parts of the south thunderstorms are even possible. SPC now has a risk of severe storms closing in on the area just south of I-80

This part of the forecast is very challenging as mesoscale convective details will play an important role in how the overall set-up evolves. The driving force will be what's left of a Wednesday night thunderstorm complex (MCS) that pushes into the area Thursday. It should be in a weakening phase early but if some heating can reach up to I-80, re-intensification is possible in the afternoon. If so, bowing segments are possible in the convection that could produce damaging winds. The most likely area for this to occur is south of HWY 34. Even if the thunderstorm winds fail to materialize, gravity waves from a wake low may lead to gusts over 40 mph in many areas. Wind of some degree is going to be a factor.


My feeling is that unless surface based instability can advect further north into the area than anticipated, most of Thursday's r