Snow chances linger, but 60s loom after April 10th?
We’re tracking multiple chances for rain and snow for the first half of this week. Rain and snow are likely today. In order to see snow accumulate in April, we typically need to see the snow come down heavily to overcome the warmer ground. In general, minor accumulations are possible, but if any snow sticks this week, it would be short lived since it would melt rather quickly. Temperatures will struggle to reach a high of 40 today, which is below normal for early April considering normal highs are in the lower-50s this time of year. We should see a dry day Tuesday with highs climbing into the upper-40s before another round of rain arrives Tuesday night and continues into Wednesday. Speaking of Wednesday, it should be the warmest day of the week as highs reach the low to mid-50s before a cold front comes through Wednesday night.
Thursday will feature cloudy skies with on and off rain showers and highs around 50. The warmest readings may occur in the morning before temperatures fall later in the day. Thursday night will feature cloudy skies with rain showers mixing with snow showers and lows in the low to mid-30s. Friday will have a mix of rain and snow showers with highs in the low to mid-40s. Friday night looks to bring overcast skies with lows around 30. The key here is temperatures continue to run unusually chilly for early April. Another interesting note for this late week timeframe is since the air aloft is so much colder than our 40s at the ground, if the sun comes out, that actually results in cloud and rain/snow formation. There is not a significant amount of rain or snow by any means, but it can act to keep a mixture of sunshine and on/off rain/snow or even graupel showers ongoing.
There is a bit of uncertainty as we head into the end of our forecast period as things depend on how our mid-week system evolves. As we go into the weekend, Mostly Cloudy skies will stick around for the day on Saturday as the mid-week low continues to move east. With highs in the 40s, it’ll continue to be cooler than normal across Central Michigan. However, we’ve got some good news for you. An area of high pressure and warmer air begins to move into the area on Sunday. This will cause some clearing skies across the area. It’ll also feel more like spring across Mid-Michigan with highs looking to reach the mid-50s.
Warmup after April 10:
The pattern looks to change somewhat as we look further out beyond the 7-Day Forecast. There is so much value to being able to forecast the weather beyond your typical 7-Day. Better yet, when approached properly and with the limitations known ahead of time, we can do so accurately. Unlike what we will see this week with the upper-level pattern favoring colder than normal temperatures, we’ll see this change to a pattern favorable for above normal temperatures beginning about 6 or 7 days from now. This means next week (after April 10th), we should see spring-like temperatures arrive. How warm you may ask? Investigating that takes some simple analysis about what we know about the climate here in central MI along with some knowledge about how our weather forecast computer models operate.
During the April 10th-15th timeframe, the normal high in Mount Pleasant is between about 55 and 57 degrees. So if we are going to be above normal, we must be warmer than that. 5 to 10 degrees above normal places us nicely in the low to mid-60s for highs on multiple days next week. This is what much of the computer model data is showing for next week. However, since this is more than 7 days away, models like to be conservative and not actually show how warm it could be until we get closer. We’ll have to keep an eye on the ridge because the stronger it becomes, the warmer we will get. As a result, highs in the 60s seem reasonable on multiple days next week and while less certain at this point, reaching 70 degrees isn’t out of the question. One last thing to consider with this warmth looming towards the middle of the month is eventually it will cool back down at least a little because we can’t stay warmer than normal consistently for too long. This means a cold front will inevitably arrive sometime around the middle of the month, which will likely bring rain, but could also result in thunderstorms. Something we can’t know this far in advance is exactly what day the showers and thunderstorms would be, but we do know the approximate timeframe as discussed here.
We’ll be able to revisit this in more detail next Monday and provide you with an update on just how warm it may become. For now, the main takeaway is it’s still relatively cold this week, but a flip to warmer weather is favored next week. If you’re craving spring, we encourage you to be patient a little bit longer.
Since March has ended, let’s take a look back at where our weather ended up last month. We had quite the roller coaster in temperatures in March. On March 13th, we had our lowest high of 14°F and just a few days later on the 17th, we hit our highest high of 69°F. Overall, we had a warmer than normal month. Our average temperature in Mount Pleasant was 34°F compared to the average of 32°F.
It was also a much wetter month than normal as well. On average Mount Pleasant sees just under 2” of precipitation during March. This year, we observed 3.25”.
Interestingly, we had 2 big weather events over the course of the month. First off was some gusty winds on March 6th, where winds got up to 52 MPH in Mount Pleasant. This was followed by 3” of snow over the next day causing CMU to delay opening over spring break. Then we got over an inch of precipitation on March 30th and 31st leading to quite a wet end to the month.
Mid-Mitten Weather View’s Mission is to serve people by providing timely information to help keep them safe and make decisions based on the weather. We are a combined group of degreed meteorologists who have graduated from CMU and current student forecasters from the University. We look forward to catching you back here next week for another weekly 7-Day forecast update.
-Weather Report by CMU Student Forecasters Isaac Cleland, Scott Thomas, John Jones, and Ethan Foreman