Las Vegas Eyes Hottest April Day While Kansas City & Des Moines Eye Coldest May Days

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Week after week has seen some wild and extreme weather across the United States and this week is no different despite the fact that April is drawing to a close and May begins. It’s another week of unusual heat, unusual cold, heavy, record-breaking snow and another week void of any noteworthy severe weather.It’s said that the March-April period has become the second coldest period in U.S history, not a great surprise given what we’ve seen.

It’s also become the norm to see summer replaced by another slap of winter within a 2-3 day span in Denver out into the Plains and we have yet another situation where a major warm-up will be followed by a significant, anomalous shot of arctic air that’s more suited to winter and not spring.

I’ve said time and time again that the amount of snowcover remaining over Canada and the cold which is holding strong, coupled with the type of pattern (stormy with big, deep lows) along with the high amplified pattern, which can be attributed to the level of arctic cold diving down into the Rockies and Plains following major warm-ups.

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The heat building now over the Southwest is something else and that can probably be attributed to the exceptionally dry start to the year from Phoenix up to Idaho for the intensity of the ridge lifting north from Mexico and the level of heat beneath. Highs yesterday reached 100 in Phoenix forst the first time since last October. Think that’s hot? Ocotillo Wells, CA reached a summer-like 112.

While temperatures soared to 97 in Las Vegas, NV yesterday, today will be worth a close watch as the high should approach and perhaps exceed 100. If Vegas reaches the century mark, this would surpass the all-time April record of 99.

We may also see a high top yesterday’s 112 somewhere within the California and or Arizona desert and this could push other all-time record April highs elsewhere, perhaps even regionally.

While hot in the Deserts, it will also become distinctly summer-like out over the southern and central Plains with 90s spreading north from South Texas up through Oklahoma and into Kansas today and tomorrow before a major change comes Wednesday-Thursday.

Here are yesterday’s high’s.

Source: weather.com

Source: weather.com

Today will be warmer than yesterday from SOCAL to the central Plains but it’s by tomorrow that we begin to see changes up over the Northern Rockies as a storm begins to drop a cold front south into Montana, eventually spreading right down the Rockies and Plains.

Here’s the 12 hr 850 temp chart for the Southwest according to the GFS.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

This heat, while spreading out into the Plains today, will get forced east tomorrow and Wednesday as the trough begins to make it’s presence felt to the north over the Northern Rockies. Look for highs near 90 in Dallas, OKC and Wichita today, but it’s likely get into the low 90s tomorrow as heights and 850s rise along with a stronger SW wind. Temperatures tomorrow will be stuck in the 30s and 40s across Montana east into North Dakota after 60s and low 70s today and rather than 80s today down in Denver today, it will stay in the 60s tomorrow.

Here’s the GFS 850 temps for the same period (18z) today, Tuesday and Wednesday and you can see the rise and fall in 850mb temperatures across the Southern Plains.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

18z Tuesday

AccuWeather Pro

AccuWeather Pro

18z Wednesday

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

The peak of the heat comes today for the Desert Southwest up into the Great Basin and Intermountain West while it comes to the Southern Plains tomorrow.

Below is the 250mb heights and isotachs chart which shows the strength and direction of the upper levels winds for Tuesday and Wednesday. I’m showing you this to give you a better visual on the trough, it’s depth and how it lifts the heat core east Tuesday into Wednesday.

Tuesday

gfs_namer_042_250_wnd_ht

Wednesday

gfs_namer_060_250_wnd_ht

Temperatures are set to crash between Tuesday and Wednesday PM thanks to the passing of the cold front and it’s really from the central Rockies to Mid-Mississippi Valley where the most dramatic 24-hour temperature differences are likely to occur.

At the same time the heat builds over the Plains, so the chill dives into the Rockies as the upper low pushes east. Denver goes from mid-60s Tue to low 30s Wed, OKC will go from 90s Tue to 60s Wed and may remain in the 50s Thu.

From Near 100 To Snow & 30-40 Below Normal Within 48 Hours?

Amarillo may push the upper 90s to near 100 on Tue which would be very impressive for late April but even more impressive is the fact that highs are stuck in the 60s Wed and between Wed night and Thur am, there may be an accumulating snow across the upper Texas Panhandle with temps near freezing. That would be incredible in so many levels. Extreme heat by April standards and exceptionally rare snow and temps some 30-40 below normal to start May. Snow may get all the way to Lubbock Thur morning. Daytime highs may struggle to even reach 50 Thur all the way to Lubbock.

Here’s the GFS snow chart out at 90 hrs which now shifts the major snow all into near unprecidented territory for early May…

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

An amazing midday chill Thur looms for Kansas City with highs struggling to get out of the low 40s while Des Moines up to Minneapolis may hold in the 30s with snow. That’s temperatures nearly 40 below normal for May 3-4.

Below is the GFS 850mb temps for the same period as the snow chart above (78 hrs). Note the dagger of 0C 850mb air reaching central Texas.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

 

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