We have 38° this morning at 6 am which is 10° warmer than we had for a low yesterday morning as we continue with our cool pattern.
We have threats of widespread frost over the next three nights which isn’t typical though not unheard of for early May. Last year at this time we also started out the month of May on a cool note before it warmed into the 70s and 80s, the difference was we had more rain last year. We should be back in the 60s by midweek and near 70 by the weekend.
Rain chances diminish as you go north of Kalamazoo today, along I94 and south will be the greater chances. Our next chance of rain won’t be until the end of the week.
Last year we ended May with 6.25 inches of rain most of which fell the second half of the month. We had 12.81 inches for March, April, and May making it a wetter than normal spring. (these are Otsego totals). This year we have had 3.44 inches for the same period.
-- Rain Showers Across Southern Michigan Today -- A surface low moving from eastern MO to southern IN/OH today will bring a batch of rain into extreme southern Lower MI this morning and afternoon before ending this evening. SPC HREF 24hr precipitation indicates rainfall of about 0.50" near and south of I- 94, with a sharp gradient north of I-94 to just a few hundredths a as you approach the I-96 corridor and little to nothing north of there. No instability will lead to a zero threat for thunder across our region. -- Multiple Frost and Freeze Events Yet to Go -- As has been advertised, the threat for frosts and freezes continues into mid week. Looking at 850mb temps from a standardized anomaly perspective, we`re seeing about 2 to 3 standard deviations below normal through mid week. That`s keeping surface temperatures a good 10 to 15 degrees below normal into Tuesday before we finally moderate a bit. The highest likelihood for a hard freeze (upper 20s for at least a few hours) will be interior central Lower MI each of the next few nights. It appears that most of our fruit belt region along the lakeshore should escape a hard freeze. However, microscale terrain features could potentially support upper 20s in certain areas. Sensitive plants will need to be covered for most areas until we get past Wednesday morning. -- Quiet This Week...But Possibly More Active After That -- Other than some spotty diurnal showers Tuesday afternoon courtesy of an upper low moving through the eastern Great Lakes, this work week looks pretty quiet. The sub-cloud layer looks quite dry on Tuesday, so these showers will be fairly minor, though it is worth noting that wet bulb temps are close to 40F so if a shower does develop, surface temps may crash while it is precipitating. It was recently mentioned by WDM that the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) has played a significant role in both the cooler temperatures we have seen in the last several days (and will continue to see) as well as the lower than normal precipitation amounts. The MJO was strongly in Phase 1 and has recently been strong in Phase 2, both of which have statistical significance in giving us cooler than normal temperatures. The GEFS forecast brings it into a weak Phase 3, then more of an incoherent signal before perhaps emerging into Phase 4 or 5 in the next seven to ten days. This is when ensemble guidance indicates some support for higher precipitable water potential as well as more typical temperatures for May than we are currently seeing.