Rain Chances Return To Northern Plains

Over 90% of Minnesota In Moderate Drought, 43% Of South Dakota

As of March 31st, nearly 100% of South Dakota is abnormally dry with almost 43% suffering from a moderate drought and in Minnesota, over 90% of the state is suffering from a moderate drought. However, over the last couple of days, the atmosphere has been gearing up for a very active upcoming week. The Storm Prediction Center is calling for severe weather across portions of Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas because of a low pressure system that is not only taking its time to develop but will bring the Northern Plains a chance for some much needed rain.

The first chance of rain moves in on Monday; an area of low pressure is developing off to our south along the lee of the Rockies. The jet stream has been fairly stagnant, so this developing low is pulling plenty of moisture out of the southern Pacific and, eventually, the Gulf. Since the area of low pressure is developing, a warm front has been sitting off to our south but will begin to influence our weather by increasing clouds in the early morning hours on Monday then bringing a chance for rain by the afternoon. This is the first round of rain and will last through Tuesday.

Jet Stream on Wednesday, noon

Surface Pressure, noon Wednesday

Surface Pressure, noon Thursday

The area of low pressure will continue to develop and become more organized Tuesday night into Wednesday. There’s still a chance for rain on Wednesday however, the best chance looks to be in the late afternoon/evening hours. Thursday will be the next chance for many areas to pick up rain. This is when the low will finally move off of the lee and into parts of the lower Mid-west.

Since Thursday is still a couple of days away, the total rain accumulations may change, but parts of southeastern South Dakota, western Minnesota and northwestern Iowa could pick up anywhere from a half an inch to an inch. This will be good for the current drought conditions.

Precipitable Water, noon Thursday

Total Precipitation Accumulation in Inches, noon Friday

Friday, cooler air will move in behind the cold front but it will be short because southerly winds will quickly bring back warm, moist air. We’ll stay clear for Saturday then, on Sunday, models are hinting at another low pressure system developing which could once again bring us rain.