Major weather changes – finally

Expect warm and dry conditions over the weekend and early next week.

The astronomical calendar may suggest that summer is still a few weeks away, but summerlike weather has developed recently across Michigan and the Great Lakes region thanks to the development of a large upper air ridge across the region. In general, this pattern is expected to continue for the next one to two weeks, finally resulting in a major break for spring fieldwork and planting activities. In the short term, a frontal system will approach the state Thursday (June 2), bringing the chance for shower and thunderstorms late Thursday into Friday. Rainfall totals generally in the 0.25 to 0.50 inch range are expected, with limited and scattered areal coverage across southern and central Michigan, increasing to more widespread coverage across the north.

Relatively warm and dry conditions are expected statewide this weekend into early next week. Temperatures during the next several days are expected to gradually warm from the 60s north to mid-70s south Thursday to the low 70s to low 80s this weekend. Medium range forecast guidance currently suggests a continuation of upper air troughing across the western United States with a ridge across central sections. Both the 6 to 10 and 8 to 14 day outlooks (covering June 6-10 and June 8-14) call for normal to above normal precipitation totals and for near normal to above normal mean temperatures. My personal guess is that precipitation totals during the next week or more will remain in the normal or even below normal category.

Long lead outlook

New NOAA Climate Prediction Center Long Lead outlooks for June and the June through August periods suggest the persistence of the cooler and wetter than normal pattern of the past couple of months across large areas of the northern Great Plains and Upper Midwest as far east as western Michigan. Expectations are that the heavy winter and spring precipitation totals and wetter than normal soils in those areas lead to relatively large amounts of the energy solar and sensible energy available to the regional landscape being consumed in evaporation/evapotranspiration (versus direct sensible heating) during the next couple of months. In addition, the extra evapotranspiration will also serve as a source of water vapor for precipitation.

Further east, including much of Michigan, mean temperatures and precipitation totals are forecast to remain in the equal chances category (i.e., near equal chances of below-, near-, and above normal categories). Elsewhere, warmer and drier than normal weather is expected to continue across large sections of the south and southeast.

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