Dry, sunny and cool today. This is the calm before the storm, so to speak. Dramatic changes in the weather are on the way for tomorrow.
Our next system moves in overnight tonight and crosses the state tomorrow. We have been watching cold air as it presents a bit of a challenge with this system. The storm complex is diving across the state from NW to SE. It is in the northern plains and upper Midwest today and tonight, and will be in eastern KY and WV by the end of tomorrow night. Moisture totals are unchanged in terms of liquid equivalent. We can see .25” to as much as 1”. But, there will be snow in here, as cold air rushes in tomorrow. WE look for snow to develop about 50-60 miles either side of a line from Peoria, IL down through the heart of Switzerland County. Snow totals can be impressive in spots, with anywhere from 2-6 inches possible. Along the fringe, a coating to 2 inches can develop. Now, if warmer air is able to hold on longer, we can see these totals far less. And that is what we are hoping for. Trust us…we are fine with you hoping we are completely wrong here. But, this look like a mess for tomorrow. The map shows snow totals by midnight tomorrow night. The good news is, the precipitation is done by tomorrow night, and we should be able to look at much better weather for Sunday.
We are going to be dry, but potentially cloudy for Sunday, sunny and not as cold for Monday. Strong south winds will help moderate temps on Monday ahead of our next system.
Tuesday kicks off a complicated, messy, damp 3 day period, where scattered showers of varying intensities move through. Tuesday, we see the best rains over the northern half to third of the state. There we can see .25” to nearly 1” of rain. The upper end of the range will be rather limited. This will by far be the most intense period of moisture. Then for Wednesday-Thursday we can see additional chances for showers that can bring another few hundredths to half an inch. However, the upper end of the range for Tuesday and Wednesday looks to be in central and southern parts of the state, away from where the rains fell Tuesday. So, what that means is that we should see a decent spread of rain over the state through the period, with combined totals at .4”-1.1” and coverage at 75%. We shift back to a dry pattern briefly for next Friday.
That dry pattern now looks to extend through at least Saturday. This is a change in our forecast, as our next system looks delayed just a bit. We are still going to keep Easter wet at this point, but we may be able to delay the start of action until closer to midday. Models are in disagreement on the timing of the front, but still show it to be a strong one. If we delay the arrival of the rain until Easter Sunday or even later in the day on Sunday, that will stretch the rains into the first part of the 11-16 day window.
The rest of the extended forecast shows a strong storm complex moves through around the 5th. This front will look to bring rains from .25”-.5”, but may raise the specter of a few thunderstorms as well. Strong high pressure is still expected for the 6th forward.