THE PATTERN THAT KEEPS ON GIVING...
Let's face it, there haven't been many good days in April and Monday certainly wasn't one of them. Temperatures were buried in the 40s instead of the mid 60s which are more typical of late April. Here's a look at at 5:00pm readings. Ouch, that's tough, especially compared to the southeast U.S. where you can see highs were well into the 80s.
The entire central and upper Midwest was 15-25 degrees below normal as depicted in the departures.
Aiding and abetting the cold was a dreary veil of low clouds and brisk W/NW winds.
These are reported wind chills early Monday and I wanted to point out that in North Dakota they were as low as 6 below zero. Even by their standards that's impressive. Chills in the low 20s made it into the northern third of Iowa.
Since the end of December temperatures have generally averaged below normal. Fortunately, until the last 3-4 weeks precipitation has been below normal so even through the overall winter was a bit colder than average, snowfall was generally below normal. My far southeastern counties were the only area that came close to reaching or exceeding average seasonal snow totals. Most of my area has measured snowfall in the range of 24-30 inches. Some places in western Iowa didn't even make it to 15 inches. The place to be for snow this year, which is typically the case in a strongly moderate La Nina is the northern Plains, upper Midwest, and northern Great Lakes. A number of locations up that way have gone over 100 inches for the winter. Marquette, Michigan which is highly impacted by lake effect snow has racked up 237 inches of white gold. Using the average Quad Cities seasonal snowfall average of 32 inches per year, it would take us about 9 years to get that much snow around here. These are the accumulated snowfall totals October 1st through April 25th.
This graphic shows the north south stratification to national snow totals with 6-8 foot amounts from North Dakota to far northern Wisconsin. That's a bunch of snow!
While I don't see any snow in my area this week, it will be very close by with the GFS depicting some minor amounts grazing the far north due to a weak wave late Tuesday night and early Wednesday. Geez!
Even out to May 11 the GFS is showing more snow for the folks who've already had more than their share up north.
For us, especially Tuesday morning the concern is this recent shot of cold air. All of my area has the chance of starting the day with sub-freezing temperatures early Tuesday. A freeze warning remains in effect for overnight lows of 25 NW to 31 southeast.
The potential is there that some parts of the region experience a killing freeze as well as record lows. However, that's contingent on skies clearing and winds decoupling and diminishing. The best chance of a hard "killing freeze" is over my counties in eastern Iowa where temperatures will be below freezing overnight for the longest period of time. As for records, we are likely to be close in most areas. Here's the benchmarks we need to hit.
RECORD LOWS FOR APRIL 26th.
Cedar Rapids...24, 1907
After the cold start, it does appear we are in for a better day Tuesday as abundant sunshine should work to warm the chilly air mass. Highs are expected to end up about 10 degrees warmer than Monday which should get us into the low 50s north to the mid and upper 50s central and south. Nothing great but with less wind it will be a far better and much brighter day.
After that little wave zips out of the far north early Wednesday, warmer air will gradually work its way northeast the rest of the week. With on going warm advection, current indications are that there could be a few spotty showers around Thursday and Friday (most likely light and of the hit and miss variety). Temperature during this period appear to be warmer over the SW half of my area where low to mid 60s are expected. The northeast half may have trouble reaching 60, especially Thursday.
Rain chances will increase Friday night or Saturday as another strong spring storm advances from the Plains. The system is expected to fill (or weaken) as it spins northeast into South Dakota Saturday. However, it will still be a formidable disturbance with a good dry punch slated to arrive on an occluded front in the afternoon. At that time moisture will have increased considerably and we will be in the warm sector. Thermodynamic conditions tied to heating and timing of the front may have the potential to kick up some strong to severe storms, mainly across the south. There's a lot of uncertainty as to how things gel at this distance leading to low confidence as to how this all plays out. Highs will likely range from 60 northeast to near 70 in the far southwest.
Behind the system Sunday looks dry and seasonal as we end April, (the month and pattern that just keeps on giving gifts that none of us want). Good riddance! Roll weather....TS