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For several days I've been touting a warm weekend, and with it knocking on the door, everything seems on track. In fact, highs Saturday are likely to reach the mid to upper 80s, making it the warmest day of the year so far. Here's what the deterministic EURO is showing for temperatures. In the Quad Cities, it has 4 consecutive days in the 80s and for 5 consecutive days nothing lower than 77. That's well above the norms, which are currently around 73.

It would not shock me Saturday to see a couple spots in the SW pushing 90 with 850 temperature hitting 16-17 C., along with a prefrontal draw and abundant sunshine. Typically, the first 90 at the Quad City International Airport in Moline is June 5th. Last year it was achieved May 7th with a record-breaking 92. The earliest was April 10th of 1930. The latest July 22, 2014. A typical year sees about 24 highs of 90 or above. The average date of the last 90 is September 6th, although in 1975 the last one did not occur until October 15th.

These are the temperature departures the EURO projects Saturday.

Along with the warmer weather will come the potential of some storms and heavy rain early next week. I'll have more on that part of the weather story below. Meantime, here's a message about a special at my AIRBNB in Galena.


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A weak front blew through the region Thursday, with enough diurnal heating to spark a few afternoon and evening thunderstorms near and east of the Mississippi. Much of the region NW of the Quad Cities remained dry. A few downpours were noted, but in general amounts were light. The Moline airport had one of the larger totals I've seen, with 2/10ths of an inch. Where there was some rain and moisture levels are higher, patchy dense fog is possible in the southeast early Friday. Here's Doppler estimates from Thursday.

Now that Thursday's disturbance is well east, it appears rain chances are gone now until Saturday evening. At that time, a weak trough may combine with the days' warmth to form some thunderstorms. Negatives are that forcing is weak, displaced to the north, and there is some evidence of capping. However, CAPE on the HRRR indicates the instability necessary to fire scattered storms is there, so I can't rule them out. The EURO and GFS are mainly dry, but the HRRR and 3K NAM, (convective allowing models known as CAMS) do try to fire up storms around 7 in the northwest. You can see them here. These may not last long after sunset, so I would say chances are greatest over eastern Iowa and far NW Illinois in the evening. A strong storm or two might kick up some gusty winds and hail. There's quite a bit of uncertainty how this all plays out.

Whatever happens, Saturday evening, the daylight hours of the weekend should see abundant sunshine, setting the area up for the warm weekend temperatures of 80-85 discussed earlier.

Late Sunday night through Tuesday of next week looks to be active, with multiple chances of showers and thunderstorms. I'm still assessing the mesocale details that will determine any severe threat and how heavy rain may be. There is the potential for both concerns to exist, with timing and spacial distribution of fronts and forcing key to the outcome. We won't get that pinned down for a couple more days.

There should be a break after that moves out, where the atmosphere needs to recharge moisture and dynamics. That is likely to happen and by the end of next week, another significant storm possible.

Starting next week and continuing the remainder of May, the overall pattern remains ripe for widespread above normal precipitation, with some of it likely to be heavy at times. Here's what the EURO and GFS show for rain the remainder of May. Consistency is excellent and the coverage of wet weather is extreme.



The Weather Prediction Center does show much of the Midwest under a heavy rain threat May 19th-23rd.

The Climate Prediction Center carries the risk even further into the period of May 24-26th.

I am a bit concerned that the wet pattern taking shape may lead to considerable cooling and a below normal temperature regime for Memorial Weekend. The GFS shows 5 day temperature departures centered on the period that are quite cool over the mid and upper Midwest. The below normal readings will be highly contingent on abundant clouds and at times rain cooled air and wet soils. Any sunshine would improve temperatures considerably. Plenty of time to get that squared away.

Well then, that's all I have for now. Enjoy the nice weather the weekend promises. Roll weather...TS


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