When Will It Get Warm???
Now that we are just 6 weeks away from the strongest sun of the year, you might be wondering "how long until the warm weather arrives?" The answer is: It's going to be a while. Sure, we'll see temperatures in the 60's on many days over the next week, and maybe someone will squeak out a 70 degree reading at some point, but overall, temperatures will struggle despite the ample sun strength for much of this month. The problem is illustrated in the 500 millibar level (roughly 17,000 feet above us) graphic above. The upper-level low pressure area (and associated chilly air) that is over us now will be reluctant to depart. This will result in tolerable daytime highs (mostly 60's after Tuesday, when many of us will stay in the 50's again) and chilly nights with temperatures falling into the 30's & 40's. The resulting instability from the upper low will result in a scattered shower from time to time. The low will actually separate into two low centers this week, with one remaining near us for a while and the other retrograding back into south, central Canada. By the time the nearby low moves offshore, the western low will slide east, along with a surface reflection that will result in showers and period of rain at times during Mother's Day weekend. There is some indication that it may warm up a little by May 21-22, however this will probably come at the price of an increasing chance for showers/rain and the upper low may try to reestablish itself fairly soon thereafter. Temperatures in southwestern Minnesota are in the low 80's this afternoon (under the upper-level ridge), while parts of southwestern Quebec Province are in the upper 20's. Hang in there - sun strength always wins out eventually!