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If there is one thing you can count on in the Midwest's varied climate it's that somebody's good weather is somebody else's bad. Seasonal patterns often surface where some spots get the rains and others stay dry. Or, it's hot in one area but cooler in another. Rarely do things work out perfectly, or for that matter by the averages. Just ask a farmer.

This year, it's fair to say that across the board most areas have had a cool spring. What's not been consistent is precipitation. Just look at the past two weeks. 2-6" of rain has fallen across my area, with the heaviest across the south. To the north, where the rain is really needed, its consistently missed. Here's the two week totals.

These are the departures. A surplus of more than 3 inches in WC Illinois with deficits of 1.5 inches in NC Iowa, an area that just came off it's driest April in 129 years. Feast or famine as the saying goes.

The spring pattern has resulted in abnormally dry to severe drought conditions all across northern Iowa according to the latest drought monitor.

If the trends on modeling are correct, the next couple of weeks promise an active storm track though the central Midwest with the potential for heavy rains and an increased severe weather threat, especially next week. This is what the GFS indicates for total rainfall through the rest of May. It shows up to 11 inches in some parts of my area.

Amounts like that would be 4-9 inches above normal throughout my central and northern counties. If it happened that would be a problem!

My rational for showing amounts as extreme as this is not to be sensational but to point out a growing trend for heavy rain. There's no way a model can accurately simulate rainfall totals or specific locations out 15 days. However, there is skill at defining regions that have potential for excessive rains. All I'm pointing out is that a red flag has been raised over my area for the coming 2 week period. Don't get caught up in the numbers, just be aware that hydrology concerns are heightened in the pattern we are entering. Favorable parameters are in place but how it all blends together going forward will dictate the outcome. Clearly, this is something that would develop over multiple days so we have plenty of time to watch and ramp up concerns if trends hold in coming days.

With that said, rain chances will inch up Friday for scattered showers and storms as a disturbances streaks northeast in the SW flow aloft. Coverage should be higher than Thursday but again, not everyone will see the rain. The best chances (30-40%) will be found west of the Mississippi. Despite considerable cloudiness, highs should manage to reach the upper 70s to low 80s making for another muggy day.

Saturday and Sunday, most of the forcing for showers and storms departs and it appears rain opportunities will be meager (20% or less). Thus I have pulled rain chances for the weekend beyond Friday. A little more sunshine should also boost temperatures into the range of 80 to 84 degrees. Throw in some humidity and you have yourself a summery but generally dry weekend. Enjoy and roll weather...TS


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