Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A warming trend in sight

A warming trend in sight, After roughly two months of cold and wet, the pattern finally looks like it is about to change. The hyper active jet pattern has led to torrential rains in the Midwest with record river flooding, some in the Chicago metro area, to constant snow storms in the northern Plains and northern Midwest. It seems that the flip of the meteorological calendar to spring on March 1 actually turned on the worst phase of this past winter.

The graphic from the Chicago Tribune shows just how dismal the weather conditions have been in Chicago. The month so far is averaging around 3 degrees below normal, almost 6 inches above normal for precipitation, and it has been cloudy. With the rain over the area yesterday, Chicago has set a new precipitation record for April, the new record currently standing at 8.54 inches. It is the 3rd wettest April on record for Rockford. Keep in mind we have another six days to go in April so the totals may still grow.

The good news is that this cold and wet pattern looks like it is about the change, at least for a little while. Beginning this weekend the jet stream will jump up toward the Canadian border, and stay there through the middle of next week. Much warmer air will spread over the country to the south of the jet. There will finally be a string of nice warm days for the Chicago metro area. Highs will jump to around 70 for Sunday and into the 70s Monday through Wednesday of next week. The middle of next week is also the next chance of any substantial rain, so the area will continue to dry out and the river levels will continue to fall.

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