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The month of April was typically erratic, not without its bright spots and certainly not without its share of "less than desirable" moments. In the end, most areas ended up near to slightly above normal on temperatures, thanks in part to a very warm stretch of weather to start the month. Precipitation on the other hand, ended up well below normal by 1.80 to 2.70 inches.

Here's the figures compiled from around the region.

The numbers above don't reflect the winds which seemed to be blowing endlessly. At the NWS office in Davenport the average April speed of 12.47 mph made it the10th windiest on record. Last year was even worse ending up in 2nd place with a monthly average of 13.70 mph.

By the way, gusts Monday reached 45 mph across the region. They extended into central Illinois creating a dust storm that reportedly has killed 6, injured 3 dozen, and involved 72 vehicles. The dust cloud was created by dry loose soil that was picked up by the strong winds blowing over recently plowed fields. A horrible scene.

Precipitation (the lack of it), was the big April story locally with many locations reporting deficits near or greater than 2 inches. Burlington was one of the driest with a monthly deficit of 2.71 inches. The most rain reported in a single day there was .33 inches. Measurable rain fell on only 7 of the 30 days with the monthly total just 1.21 inches.

The NWS in Davenport did a little better with a monthly total of 1.79 inches but again all of that on just 7 of the month's 30 days.

So, going into the growing season the cool dry weather is becoming a bit of a concern. Soil temperatures are well below normal which hinders seed germination where planting has occurred. Soil moisture temperatures at the 4 inch depth are still in the mid 40s in my northern counties going into May.

Soil moisture anomalies were also growing especially in the SW half of my area. That's concerning as this is the time of year where spring rains are needed to supply sub-soil reserves that are tapped in the heat of summer.

While soil moisture has gone down recently, the declines since January 31st are not significantly down. That can change in a hurry though if rains remain scarce and temperatures heat up to more summerlike levels.

Here's the rainfall departures around the Midwest since April 1st.

Departures the past 2 weeks.



There is positive news to report in that after the chilly start to the week, temperatures are expected to moderate in the coming 2 weeks. The warming is already underway by Midweek and the 6-10 day temperature outlook from CPC shows above normal readings May 7th-11th.

Precipitation should see a bit of an uptick too as some moisture finds its way back into the pattern.

You can see why the changes occur by looking at the 500mb jet stream pattern of Monday compared to what's anticipate next Tuesday May 9th. Below is the deep trough bringing the chilly blustery conditions we experienced Monday and will see again Tuesday. Note the strong northerly flow that has cut off any access to moisture.

Below is May 9th and the SW flow aloft is delivering warmer air while opening the door for the moisture needed to produce rain. That's a far more seasonal look to the upper air pattern.

With dew points Monday night in the 20s (even the teens in NC Iowa) very dry air is advecting into the central Midwest. Strong subsidence is in place and it will be very hard to get any meaningful rain into the pattern before late this weekend.

The lack of clouds all the way to the Gulf of Mexico (our primary moisture source), reveals it is shut down for business.

The GFS tries to sneak a few showers into the south late Thursday night or Friday morning but I have a hard time buying anything more than a sprinkle with the air as dry as it is. Sunday or Sunday night seems more likely depending on how forcing sets up. Here's what the EURO indicates for rain through Saturday. Pretty much nothing.

As for temperatures, they will make a move upward midweek but nor before another cool blustery day Tuesday. You'll need to hold onto the hat again with NW winds gusting to 35, maybe 40 east of the Mississippi. Highs will likely remain in the mid to upper 50s in most spots. Wednesday should crack 60 but with less wind the afternoon will be far more pleasant.

Beyond that the MJO heads into warmer phases and the EURO responds with temperature surging into the 70s most of the period May 4th-11th. Here's a sight for sore eyes, the EURO meteogram for the Quad Cities out 10 days. Sign me up for that.

The cavalry is on the way and that makes this a perfect spot to end this blog. Have a solid day and roll weather...TS


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