MU's Current Conditions: (at 04:34) Temp: 34 F | Dew Point: 23 | Wind: WNW - 7 mph
SPECIAL WEATHER DISCUSSION (Updated twice weekly, but more often when storms threaten.)

* April May End as the Coldest in 40+ Years *

10:00am Thursday, April 19, 2018:
Stubborn low-level cold air, sustained by winds off of expansive snow pack to our north, and passing upper-level systems have conspired to keep temperatures well below average throughout most of April. The exception was the brief warm spell late last week, without which we'd on pace for a record cold month. Chilly conditions today and Friday will thankfully give way to a gradual warming trend this weekend into early next week. Still, I don't see any chance of a return to the 80s...and even reaching 70 may be a challenge, though it's possible during the final days of the month. Regardless, I expect April will conclude as the coldest in a decade and, perhaps, the coldest since 1975!

Short-term we have an upper-level system that will produce lots of clouds today and a brief passing shower or two...and scattered snow showers in the mountains of PA. Skies will clear tonight into Friday as Canadian high pressure takes control. Patchy frost is possible Friday morning, but there's a better chance for widespread frost or even a hard freeze late Friday night as lows likely dip into the upper 20s. Strong midday/afternoon sunshine Friday through Sunday will make for pleasant, though still slightly cooler-than-normal, afternoons with highs in the 50s to near 60 on Sunday. Monday may actually warm to near-seasonable levels with highs in the low/mid 60s.

Precipitation-wise...I don't see much over the next five days, outside of a stray shower today. A slow-moving storm across the deep south next Monday may lift north along the Mid-Atlantic coast in the Tuesday-Wednesday time frame--if so, late Tuesday into Wednesday is our next chance for a soaking rain. Behind that system, another chilly high pressure (but not as cold as the current blast) looks to arrive late next week. Then, just maybe, a warming trend will lift high temps to near 70 degrees for the last couple days of April. --Horst

12:00pm Monday, April 16, 2018:
After two incredible summer-like days in the 80s, Sunday's backdoor cold front ushered Maritime Polar air from the Northeast--a dramatic, but not uncommon occurrence in April. See Tweet below for an annotated MU Meteogram showing the impressive 44-degree temperature drop.

Going forward, I see a period of rather variable "seasonal transition" with a bias towards cooler-than-average conditions for the next 7 to 10 days. With very cold Atlantic waters to our East, expansive snow cover to our north, and cold/icy Great Lakes (and a snowy Upper Midwest) to our Northwest, it's easy to understand my forecast for a cool bias. Of course, in late April a "below average" day with highs in the mid 50s to low 60s can still be a relatively nice day if the sun is shining. This will be the case on Wednesday...and likely again next weekend. "Sunny and cool, but not cold."

Next week will begin with a large, slow-moving storm passing to our south Monday into Tuesday. Right now it looks like this system is a "miss" for us as chilly high pressure holds ground to our north. Temps will remain several degrees below average Monday and Tuesday, but should the storm drift north and bring us easterly flow and rain then we might be stuck in the low 40s with rain (NOT my forecast at this time). A gradual moderating trend will bring a return of near-seasonable conditions by later next week...and with a little luck temps might reach the 70-degree mark by the following weekend. One thing I don't see through month's end is a return to the 80s--we'll need to wait until May for another two-day summer-like spell as we experienced this past Friday and Saturday. --Horst

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