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Don Paul: It's not eternal, but hope springs for a few days

After some measurable snow Monday night and Tuesday and more coming by Thursday, I figured I'd better see what concrete evidence there is for weather hope in the near future. If your standards aren’t too elevated, I believe I’ve dug some up.

Let’s start with precipitation and precipitation type. The American GFS model does, as I wrote, bring some snow by Thursday again (in blue), but watch the rest of this model loop. Not only does the snow vanish, but even the green/rain becomes sparse. (Click on the arrow to animate, and you can use the +/- to adjust loop speed.) The Canadian model is nearly identical, after Thursday’s snow, except for a short round of liquid showers midweek, next week.

Cloud cover is a little more problematical, since the Great Lakes often feed the development of low clouds known as stratocumulus, which can be difficult for the sun’s heating to break up this time of year downwind of the lakes. Stratocumulus clouds have been known to cause seasonal affective disorder in such places as London, Seattle and the Great Lakes. But the GFS does seem to indicate frequent sunny breaks after Saturday morning, according to the College of Du Page weather site.

Real warmth will be harder to come by, but we will have more frequent, not-too-shabby seasonable temps (average high is in the upper 50s to 60 for the last days of April). (Again, after you click on that link, click on the arrow to animate the GFS.)

I’ll just take the highlight day from the Canadian model, next Tuesday, where we theoretically leap to 64 degrees for one, brief shining moment. Note, I said theoretically.


This weekend is looking a little cooler than it did when I was last on-air Sunday, and Saturday isn’t looking as sunny, but Sunday looks just fine.

The bigger problem with gaining prolonged warming is the absence of signs of a warming ridge of high pressure taking up a longer residence time over the southeast United States. The experimental 46-day product from the European still favors mean temperatures to run below average more than half of the time over a large part of the Midwest, Great Lakes and Northeast.

The rest of this week, true enough, is virtually a total disappointment. But there are more signs of Pacific air more frequently replacing the colder airmasses and storm systems by Sunday and next week. From National Weather Service headquarters comes this upper air ensemble. Note the smoother, west-to-east flow. As time draws nearer, some more ridges and troughs will show up, but this approximates a more “zonal” Pacific flow, at least for next week:

It’s not a fundamental pattern change to “June Is Bustin' Out All Over” into May, but more seasonable, more often would feel mighty good around now, wouldn’t it? Another Sammy Cahn lyric comes to mind: “(It Will Have to Do) Until the Real Thing Comes Along.”

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