Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Wet and Stormy April Is Ahead...

Both the U.S. based GFS computer forecast model and the European computer forecast model continue to strongly suggest that a wet, stormy April is instore for much of the central and eastern two-thirds of the U.S., including many areas that are currently in a severe to extreme drought situation.

The image below shows the GFS and European model total rainfall forecast, respectively, for the period today through April 4th (scale in inches at the right hand side of the image):

As you can see, both of the models are forecasting a wet first week of April from the Southern Plains and Deep South into the lower and middle Mississippi and Tennessee Valley regions.

The European model forecast out through 360 hours (or April 11th), shows the likelihood of significant precipitation expanding both Westward into the drought stricken southern and central Plains, and Northeastward into the southeast U.S. and along much of the Eastern seaboard:

High resolution precipitation forecasts are not available from the GFS model beyond 192 hours, and I show the European output because it is typically more accurate for the longer range time periods.

The above trends correspond well to the forecast output over the last 30 days by the Climate Forecast System (CFS) models.  The image below shows that model's precipitation forecast for the month of April:

As you can see, that particular model is forecasting a bullseye of 5-10 inch rainfall over a large part of Texas and Oklahoma, which would certainly be welcome considering the present drought conditions:

I wouldn't typically put a whole lot of stock into the CFS model prediction by itself, but that forecast coupled with the signals from both the GFS and European models leads me to believe that the general trend of a wet, stormy April appears likely for these areas.

Of course, with beneficial rainfall often comes a threat of severe thunderstorm and tornado activity in the spring, so take some time now to make sure that you're prepared before the unsettled weather arrives!

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Clay W. Ginn said...

Central Florida could use the rain as well. Glad to see we have a shot at some over the next few weeks.

Jerry Smith said...

I know it's not fun for most of us in stormy weather, but we could all use more water because we know the heat will dry everything out.