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May 5, 11 PM Weather Forecast Update

Let's dig into the absolute latest forecast trends now to summer once again.

Posted: May 5, 2021 9:38 PM
Updated: May 5, 2021 11:49 PM

After the 7th warmest mean March temperature on record at Greater Lafayette, it looks like April will go down as 7th warmest as well. 

It was the warmest March since 2012 & the warmest April since 2010, both important analog years in our forecast for the past winter, this spring & this summer.

This, despite the historic snowfall & the significant damage inflicted by the freeze in Clinton, Carroll, Cass & Howard to southern Miami counties late in the month.

Here at Greater Lafayette, we were spared a lot of damage from freezing after the snow due to low clouds hanging on.

I am hearing after some loss of the apple crop from the cold snap at the first of April that this late April freeze only thinned fruit in Tippecanoe County, but it is a complete loss in those areas mentioned from Clinton to Howard counties.

The warmest March on record occurred in 2012 & the warmest April was in 1896 (records back to 1879).

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It has been quite a 4-day period with SLIGHT, ENHANCED & MODERATE RISKS for severe weather (from SPC), largely south of our area.

Yesterday severe weather reports were widespread:

Lots of severe weather occurred that day prior with multiple killer tornadoes.

Impressive tornado outbreak occured on May 2 over Mississippi.  Severe weather outbreak also occurred in the central Plains.

Even today, we had multiple tornadoes (though mostly EF0) & some large hail & damaging winds in the Plains from a moisture-starved, but dynamic Alberta Clipper.

After lows Wednesday morning of 41-48, highs reached 59-66 with strong north to north-northwest wind.  Winds gusted as high as 36 mph.

Lows tonight should range from 38-47 as wind turn light, but clouds arrive late, causing temperature to plateau (& then even rise a hair).  Coldest readings will be in our eastern counties & warmest readings in our southwestern counties.

A period of scattered showers & thunder should arrive near midday to early afternoon with mostly cloudy skies, followed by scattered showers & storms as cold air aloft arrives & clouds really bubble up.

A couple of sub-severe hailers are possible.

Risk of isolated severe hail & severe gusts will tend to occur southwest of our area from southern Illinois & southwestern Indiana to northern Arkansas (with MARGINAL RISK for severe weather).

Highs here will run 60-69 north to south with south to southwest winds becoming northwest & gusty (gusts to 35 mph).

A couple of showers are possible tomorrow night, followed by partly cloudy to mostly clear skies & lows 37-43.  This will be followed by a few showers & t'showers Friday with clouds bubbling up.  Isolated small hailer is possible.

Winds will be strong from the northwest up to 39 mph.

Highs of 61-68 are expected.

After clearing & lows of 36-41 (patchy frost north) Saturday night with clear skies, clouds will increase Saturday.  as warm front moves northward.

Winds will be rather light out of the northeast to east Saturday with highs 61-68.

In true Black Locust Winter, chilly rain settles in north of the warm front Saturday evening-night with east wind increasing to 10-15 mph with lows 43-50.

There hasn't been great agreement on where the front sets up Sunday-Monday.

It appeared Tuesday that the front would drop south of our area Sunday & we would get sun with a light east wind & highs 64-69.  On Monday, it appeared that the front would move well north of the area this upcoming Monday & we'd see some severe risk & 73-81.  Then, it looked as if the front may stay very near or just south of us on Monday.

There has been a movement to set the front up to just south of I-74 Sunday & keep much of the area in rain & even some thunder (as parcels are elevated north of the front) & raw highs in the 53-58 range over much of the area with perhaps rise to 59-62 far south.

Strong east winds would occur north of the warm front & rainfall would be locally-heavy with some 1-2.5" total amounts.

Right now, lets just take a middle-ground approach with some rain Sunday, especially the AM-midday time frame (with some thunder possible) & go with highs near 60 to the 60s.

Severe weather risk on Sunday has the potential to reach as far north as southern Indiana in the warm, unstable surface air.  Parameters look MARGINAL to SLIGHT RISK there.

The coming day or two will provide much better insight on the exact position of the front as surface wave rides along it.

A difference of 50, 75, 100 miles would make a big difference in conditions over the area overall.  Push northward & some severe risk could easily reach the area.

I am going to keep 20-30% shower coverage on Monday & Tuesday due to front being close enough.  60s should do for Monday, followed by 40s Monday night & then 60s to 70 Tuesday. 

Main round of rainfall & even storms still looks to be Wednesday.

At this point, the main corridor of severe weather risk is south of the viewing area, but MARGINAL RISK parameters may sneak in with highs in the 66-76 range.

May 15-24 shows multiple rounds of showers & storms for the viewing area with severe weather risk showing up multiple times.  Temperatures should surge well into the 80s to even as high as 90 with dew points surging to 66-72. Heavy rainfall is possible.

The main time of severe weather risk when the dynamics, shear & deeper instability all the way from the surface & way up is around May 20. 

Parameters continue to suggest ENHANCED to possibly MODERATE RISK for the area, but we will monitor.  It is a long way out, but there is an consistent analog signal.

This would be the first time since August (with the Progressive Derecho) that any part of the viewing area has seen ENHANCED to even MODERATE RISK.

Heat is still the story at the end of the month (with a lot of severe weather in the Canadian Prairies to Montana, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Minnesota to Iowa), but there will likely be a bout of storms in early June to cool it a bit before the heat rebounds.

Trend is still drier than normal the first half of June overall (much wetter northwest of the area from Nebraska & Iowa to Minnesota & the nothern Great Lakes).  The drier swath is Oklahoma through Indiana to the Northeast:

It is also trending hotter than normal for the first half of June.  Troughing in the Northern Rockies means wetter, cooler eather there & shortwaves pivoting around its base to ignite all of the heavy rainfall & severe weather in that Nebraska to Ontario corridor while hot upper ridge from the Northeast to Oklahoma tends to cap things frequently.

Trend continues to be hot ridge Northeast to our area to Texas dominating in late June to July & even part of August.

However, note how close that "Ring of Fire" is located from Minnesota to Michigan to southern Ontario.

Amidst the higher likelihood of 90s to 100s here will be potential of a Progressive Derecho riding that ridge edge into the area & the potential of a random severe weather outbreak or two from a squall line/MCS or old MCV to occur.

This would help alleviate the drough & heat stress locally to crops.  Again, sometimes a million-dollar rain right when you need it in a hot, dry summer can mean the difference between 120 bu./acre corn & 200 bu./acre corn.

Subsoil moisture can make the difference too.  If we get a good rain or two in June & then dry out & turn very hot again, the roots can get the water.

Getting the crop out early this year with periods of early dryness (but not too much dryness) as it germinates is helpful.

Late June-July overall rainfall anomalies:

Late June to July overall temperature anomalies with hot, hot upper ridge a key feature.

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Beautiful Week Ahead. Cooler, drier and less humid.
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CountyCasesDeaths
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