Joe’s Weather World: What a difference an April makes (SUN-4/21)

We’ve had some great April weather around these parts over the last few weeks. Some rain and some great weather days. Yesterday was sensational and today will be even warmer. The price we pay today for the warm-up will be some rather strong winds developing. Then to start the week tomorrow a cold front will come through and sweep the warmest weather away from the areas for a few days. Rain chances are going to be there but aren’t overly high for any day. Tuesday might be the best chance of rain…after that no real clear triggers are expected. Somewhat unusual for late April around these parts.



  • Forecast:

Today: Windy and sunny with gusts to 40 MPH+. Highs in the 80s

Tonight: Mild and breezy with lows near 60°

Monday: A late day cold front comes through…we should be near 70-75° beforehand with a lot of clouds. There may be a few sprinkles/misty showers behind the front. Maybe a random storm with the front.

Tuesday: A chance of rain and cooler with highs near 70°. Could be warmer if there isn’t any rain or not much of it. Some new data today shows the rain may not be much if at all.



  • Discussion:

I noticed something interesting in the satellite pictures yesterday that I wanted to write about today…and that is how different the terrain looks this year compared to last year at about this time. What am I talking about…just how much greener everything is this year compared to last year. Why is this happening…well remember that LAST April was our 2nd coldest April in 130 years of weather records. We had those 3 straight Sunday snows including Easter Sunday. We had a handful of record lows interspersed with quite a few cold days overall. Take a look.

Last April…and I’ve highlighted the days with pretty impressive cold temperature anomalies…

We ended the month more than 7° below average…we salvaged things towards the end of the month…but certainly though the 20th or so it was pretty miserable from a temperature standpoint on most days

Now compare to this April…we’re running more than 2° above average so far and today will boost that a bit with highs in the 80s.

Notice this April…only a handful of chilly days overall compared to average.

So this has many different effects…the one that most can see although perhaps not recognize as much is how much greener the terrain is compared to last year at this time. I want to show you two satellite pictures, taken roughly one year apart that shows this difference. Here is one taken on 4/18 of last year.

Now look at one taken yesterday.

So sort of need to look carefully but you can’t miss the green shading for sure. Also look up the MO River towards western IA…note the changes to the River up there this year…all the water showing up. Look towards Topeka at Perry Lake…so much more water there this year…Here is a slider comparison that may make it easier to notice…same data.

Pretty interesting stuff in my weather world. I may talk about this tomorrow or Tuesday on the news a bit showing the differences from one year to the next.

Weatherwise there is a cold front coming this way tomorrow. It’s effects are going to be cooler temperatures but there are questions how much rain we’ll actually get from this tomorrow at least.

The front is actually coming through during the most favored time for storms…near 2PM or so…There is a question about how much instability will be around when the front comes through…IF by chance we’re in the 70s…we could get some storms going but if much cooler…for example only around 65°+ or so …there will be a cap that may be tough to break as the front works through.

Then on Tuesday there should be a weak wave coming up from the SW that should give at least some areas some rain. That day looks to have the most promise for rain, perhaps not all of us…but it’s the best chance for the region at least.

After that things really sort of quiet down to a large extent at least into the weekend.

We’re heading to the later part of April now and the severe weather season in the Plains is sort of a slow starter. The most favored areas for severe weather this week are towards OK…

The season though has started ever so slowly again in KS/OK and points northwards.

OK has had 1 tornado I think and KS has had 2. The 2 in KS were landspouts I believe so we really haven’t had any “real” tornadoes to talk about at this point. Last year we waited till the 1st of May to get things going.

I don’t see much activity of concern through at least next Friday. There may be something stirring next weekend in the southern Plains though. We’ll see if we worry about that on Sunday or now…we may have a pretty stout cap developing again though locally.

I’m sure heading into May all this will change…but it is interesting to see the slow start (again). Last year it made sense with the cold April..this year it’s a bit weird for the Plains overall.

Something else strange…for the Midwest at least…no drought…at all.

and for the country an amazing lack of drought conditions…

Only 4% of the country is in some form of drought…4%. The lowest since these measurements have been reliably taken (since 2000) I believe!

Our feature photo comes from ‎Vicki Anderson Dolt‎ . That full “pink” moon has been spectacular these last few nights.

Joe

 

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