State of the Spring Report. What's Next?
We are now half way through meteorological spring. Where do we stand and where are we going? This can play a crucial role in what to expect for summer, especially early.
In terms of temperature, there's little doubt April will end up with below average, especially with what I see over the next 7-14 days. The jet is suppressed as colder air advances south. This is partially why we are more than 1'' below average for the month and for this spring so far. We have had some severe weather this spring, but any widespread severe weather will be shut down due to the colder air in place. This will not last. As we go towards the end of April and beginning of May, I think our chances will ramp up once again.
Drought conditions continue across Texas. There's some concern this will push eastward in time. If that does happen, air temperatures will heat up as the soil dries out.
60 day rainfall anomaly show the northwest portion of the state is much drier compared to the southeast 1/2. It has been VERY dry over Oklahoma and Texas.
The newly released drought monitor Thursday morning has severe drought conditions over much of Texas. This fades away further north and east. We do NOT want to see this expand and we hope it does not get worse in Texas.
Week to week change has some areas getting worse in Texas and Oklahoma, but a little improvement in far east Texas and Louisiana.
Seasonal drought outlook has it persisting out to the west, BUT at least some improvement in southeast Texas through July 31st. This is a small piece of good news for us in Arkansas. Bad out west!
Rainfall anomaly over the next 16 days, through the end of April. The suppressed jet really shows up well here. Most of the rain is along the Gulf coast with drier than average conditions further north for much of the area.
The Climate Prediction Center thinks the opposite with good chances for wetter than average conditions April 22-28.
In summary, March was warmer than average and April will be the opposite. We'll get back into a more normal pattern by the end of this month into May with rain and storm chances going back up. However, by that time, much of the rain becomes convective in nature. That means widespread general rain chances begin to decrease. The rainfall that does occur are within storms, which can be very heavy, but tend to take in less real estate. If we begin to dry out, look out! That's the sign of an awfully hot summer. We already see those signs west of Arkansas. How far east? That's why we need to keep an eye on how much rainfall we receive. This plays a crucial role in early summer temperatures.
Once we get deeper into summer, we start to look at the tropics for rainfall. At this time, it appears another active season is likely, but not as active as last year.