Warmer Monday, Rain Wednesday

In Evening Brief by Henry LukerLeave a Comment

Happy (late) Sunday evening. Hopefully your weekend went well with plenty of great basketball action.

  • Situational awareness: Radar returns are trying to paint some snow over northwest Iowa. Most of this is likely not reaching the ground due to very dry air in the boundary layer. As a matter of fact, none of the automated stations are picking up any snow — you have to go up towards the Twin Cities to see that action. View more on our Radar page.
  • Temperatures at 10:00 p.m. sit in the low-30s to the mid-40s; highs ranged from 37 in Decorah to 54 in Le Mars. View more on our Current Conditions page.

1. Weekly Look at Rivers

Latest River Conditions at 10:00 p.m. 3/31/2019 | Source: AHPS

River conditions continue to improve for most of the state, except for the Mississippi. Rain and continued snow melt this week will not help matters.

  • Mississippi River: Past crest, but rising with a new crest expected for nearly all sites. Sites at moderate flooding expected to return to major stage.
    • Major flooding remains at Rock Island, Illinois City, New Boston, Keithsburg, Gladstone, Burlington, and Keokuk.
    • Moderate flooding for McGregor, Guttenberg, Dubuque, Bellevue, Camanche, Le Claire, and Muscatine.
  • Missouri River: Past crest and slowly falling. Minor flooding at Plattsmouth and Nebraska City for the long-term. Advisories still posted for Omaha and Blair. Expect steady improvement.
  • Des Moines River: Past crest and falling steadily. Estherville should return to minor flood stage early Tuesday morning and hopefully be completely in the clear sometime next week. Emmetsburg, Humboldt, and Fort Dodge should be completely in the clear by the end of this week.
  • Big Sioux River: Past crest and falling steadily. Canton remains at major flood stage. Hawarden, Akron, and Richland have returned to moderate stage from major. Jefferson and Fairview sit at minor. Should see significant improvement this weekend with complete clearing by early next week.
  • Little Sioux River: Past crest and falling steadily. All points should be in the clear by early next week.

2. Dry and Warmer

Forecast for Tomorrow (4/1/19)

Warmer and more seasonable weather is on tap for tomorrow with highs ranging from the low 50s north to the upper 60s south. Partly-to-mostly cloudy skies, winds still a bit breezy at 10-15 MPH with gusts to 25.

3. Rain, Snow Monday Night

Upper-level trough and low pressure system at the surface will bring precipitation potential for much of the area beginning Monday evening. Precipitation will begin in the form of all rain initially before changing over to snow over the far north.

Confidence in specific accumulations and areas is low with this being a quite a spring setup, but up to two inches of snow with locally higher amounts cannot be ruled out. Most of the snow potential will be north of the Highway 18 corridor with a generalized mix north of Highway 20. To the south, precipitation should remain as all rain.

Regardless, make sure to use caution if you have travel plans late Monday into Tuesday morning.

4. More Rain Wednesday and Thursday

WPC QPF Forecast for the Next Five Days, ending Friday evening
00z GFS Model Output from Wednesday Morning through Thursday Evening

Widespread rainfall is expected beginning early Wednesday (southwest Iowa) and continuing into Thursday evening for those along and south of Highway 20. Confidence has increased in a more southern-trajectory of the low pressure system and associated boundary, hence the further south totals.

This will be a dejavu to what we saw late last week on Friday. Totals for the next five days from the WPC have us at around an inch of precipitation; the GFS and NAM are a lot more bullish with precipitation than the bearish Euro; this will certainly… bear…. watching over the next few days. 

Bottom line: Those in the southern half of the state should expect rain Wednesday afternoon through Thursday evening.

5. Seven Day Outlook

After rain on Wednesday and Thursday keeps temperatures hampered down to their seasonal levels, big warming is expected towards the weekends with highs in the 60s on Friday and reaching the 70s (!) by the weekend. Saturday will be absolutely marvelous.

6. Looking at the Long-Term

00z GFS Model Output from Sunday Morning through Monday Afternoon

Next storm to watch will be towards the late weekend time frame. GFS and ECMWF both in general agreement of rain impacting us beginning Sunday morning west and continuing into Monday alongside a 1004mb low pushing from the Plains towards the Great Lakes. Some thunder also possible. This is right at the end of the seven day, so schematic changes are basically guaranteed, but do note the chances if you have plans on Sunday.

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