It’s been very cold and stormy in the Northern Tier of the United States, including the Northern Plains, Midwest, Great Lakes, and Northeast, so far this April. An upcoming change in the pattern will allow for drier weather throughout the latter half of April as well as warmer weather. There is a catch, however. Even though warmer temperatures are likely, it mainly has to do with warmer temperatures climatologically since we are getting even closer to summer. As cold fronts move through, that will usher in rounds of warmer and cooler than average air. Fluctuations in temperature will be very common across the Eastern US. A point to note is that the above average temperatures will become much more present compared to the dominant cold during the first half of this month. In fact, consecutive days of either average or above average temperatures can be expected for the entire Northern Tier of the US. This is due to the presence of multiple upper-level ridges of high pressures, bringing warmer weather and sinking air, which lowers the chance for precipitation. Meanwhile for the Southern Tier of the US, below average temperatures are forecast for the second half of April from the Southern Plains through the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.
Along with warmer temperatures is the quieter weather pattern. All of the model guidance is highlighting below average precipitation for much of the United States, with the exception of the Southern Plains, Gulf Coast, and Southeast. This is good news for some and not-so-good news for others. Much of the Northern Tier of the US has been experiencing near average precipitation over the course of the past 60 days. There is a drought currently affecting portions of the Dakotas, however, and conditions may worsen with a continuation of the below average precipitation.
On the other hand, it’s been very wet in the Ohio and Mid-Mississippi River Valleys. This pattern change is good news because precipitation anomalies have been more than 15 inches above average within the past 60 days, so additional rain/snow is not needed in the foreseeable future. It’s also good news for portions of the Southwest and Southeast. Above average precipitation is expected overall through the end of April for portions of Colorado, New Mexico and into the Southern Plains. Portions of this area are in an exceptional drought. In fact, the worst drought category in the monitor. The drought began last year has has been worsening ever since. This is due to the lack of rain. In Amarillo, Texas, there has only been one day so far this year that has recorded measurable rainfall. In terms of the Southeast, portions of the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida are in a drought. Hopefully, the wetter weather will help alleviate these drought conditions.
We are tracking a storm that will first bring rain and some severe storms to the Southern Plains on Friday into Saturday. This storm will then track along the Gulf Coast and toward the Atlantic Ocean during the beginning of next week. A widespread one to three inches of rain is forecast from the Southern Plains through the Southeast. This is definitely great news, except for the ArkLaTex and Lower-Mississippi River Valley where rainfall has been well above average and some rivers remain in minor to moderate flood stage. Additional flooding is possible in this area, but it is not expected to be widespread unlike recent heavy rain events earlier this year. Another storm may then bring additional rainfall to portions of the South during the final weekend of April, but it’s too early to talk details at this time.Here’s a graphic of the general overview of this upcoming pattern: