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For the second consecutive day, record highs were established in parts of my region Monday. Unlike Sunday, when the entire region saw records, Monday's warmth was confined to the region generally southeast of the Quad Cities. Further northwest, a cold front dropped readings significantly. Below in red, you can see all the cities that set new highs for the date Monday.

Moline and Burlington both had highs of 77, good enough to tie or break the existing marks set in 1992. Moline's maximum was especially impressive, breaking the old mark by 6 degrees.

Below in red, you see all the temperatures records set Sunday, March 3rd.

Washington, Iowa Sunday hit 81 with Burlington and Cedar Rapids both peaking at 80. Steve Gottschalk in Lowden, Iowa reported his earliest 80 degree high by 4 days!

With a stationary front stretched out NW to SE just west of the Quad Cities, moisture was able to pool Sunday night. With the additional moisture and the forcing along the front, showers and storms were able to pop Monday. Some significant rains fell in several narrow bands near and NW of the boundary. Some spots picked up 1–2 inches of much need rain. Other locations saw little if any at all. It was as they say, feast or famine. Hopefully, if you needed it, you got it. Otherwise, the next shot doesn't come until late week. These are Doppler rainfall estimates through 2:00am Monday night.

The ingredients were also there Monday for some strong storms that produced 1 inch (quarter sized) hail. The hail plots are shown below.

Behind the system, a cooler drier air mass settles in that should keep the region rain free now through the day Thursday. Skies will clear Tuesday, and a mixture of clouds and sun is expected Wednesday and most of Thursday. Highs do cool but remain well above normal with lower 50s north to mid to upper 50s south.

The next system looks organized enough to produce a rain threat Thursday night and part of Friday. There's loose agreement amongst models that the track will be just southeast of the area, which keeps us in the cool sector of the storm. That could make for a damp, chilly day Friday with highs in the north holding in the 40s (with an E/NE wind) and perhaps a few low 50s closer to the low in the far southeast. Currently, both the GFS and EURO are generous with rainfall totals showing amounts that look like this.



The departure of this storm Friday night should clear the way for a dry but seasonally cool weekend ahead. The meteorgrams of the EURO and GFS show the weekend coolness, but have a bounce back warm-up next week before another drop after March 15th.

The EURO Meteogram

The GFS Meteogram

Looking at the 500mb pattern of the GFS, there is evidence to suggest we go into a colder pattern for at least a week, (maybe two) after March 15th. The EPO (eastern Pacific Oscillation) is shown going strongly negative on the EURO weeklies. That implies high pressure over Alaska and a strong ridge over the west. That and a positive PNA (Pacific North American Oscillation) indicates an east based trough, a major change from the warmth we've seen in recent weeks when those teleconnections were opposite.

The 500mb jet stream March 20th does show high pressure extending across northern latitudes. That blocking would serve to force colder air into the mid-latitudes of the Midwest. It could very well be an active pattern that has some snow potential if it happens. Not the party we've been enjoying!

Even the EURO control shows the cold March 19th with these temperature departures indicated across the central U.S.


The argument against cold is the MJO (Madden Julien Oscillation) remains in mild phases. That may offset the EPO and PNA teleconnections resulting in a push, where we end up somewhere in the middle with temperatures closer to normal. Honestly, the way this winter has gone, few of the tried and true methods of establishing long range trends have had merit. Confidence is far less than I would like it to be.

While I'm sad to say we've seen the last of 70 and 80 degree temperatures for a while, at least we've seen them. We should thank our lucky stars for that! At least for now, it's back to reality. It sure was nice while it lasted. Roll weather...TS

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