More cold air on the way for Michigan as we start the month of may. We saw plenty of chill last week before the moisture came. Rain that moves back into Michigan Saturday will be part of a frontal complex that triggers a dramatic drop in temps as well. This may turn out to be the coldest start to May in quite some time.

Frost and freeze conditions will be seen in all locations Monday and Tuesday. The cold runs from Sunday afternoon all the way through Thursday. The coldest morning and day will be Tuesday. The map below shows temperature departures from normal around noon on Tuesday. Chilly!

However, its not just the cold that is an issue. Rain this weekend will end up totaling up to 0.75” in spots. But we will see low pressure get cut off from the jet stream over the heart of the Great Lakes. This will allow for a slow moving circulation to park over Michigan and the Great Lakes from late Sunday afternoon through Tuesday.

The consequence will be plenty of clouds and the threat of light rain and even a few light wet snowflakes to the area Monday and Tuesday. We are stressing the moisture is light…a few hundredths to a few tenths combined over the period, with the heaviest and best moisture chances coming Tuesday. Still, we are not doing any drying in there, and soil temps will likely fall off a bit.

We should see temps start to moderate Wednesday afternoon, before climbing to near normal Thursday and Friday. However, in that warmer air, we have another front that moves through with rain and thunderstorms from Thursday afternoon through Friday midday. Rain totals are expected to be .25”-1” with coverage at 90% of MI. We are drier, but slightly cooler behind that system for Saturday the 6th and Sunday the 7th. However, temperatures moderate into the start of the next week to finish out the 10 day forecast window.

Extended Period:

The extended 11-16 day forecast period looks dry with no new frontal passages through the 12th. We may end up with a few scattered showers later on in the Mother’s Day weekend. However, as of right now, it looks like our best window of opportunity for planting and fieldwork coming up will be the week of the 8th.

Weeks 3 & 4:

Precipitation looks to be near normal in weeks 3 and 4, meaning we see likely one to two rounds of moisture each week, but not excessive. Temps remain below normal both week as the average temps for the week are a good 2-4 degrees under where we should see them. However, normal are warming dramatically in the month of May, so this will not be detrimental to seed growth, at least with regard to germination.

Week 3 Precipitation (Green = above normal, Brown = below)

Week 3 Temperatures (yellow/orange = above normal, blue = below)

Week 4 Precipitation (Green = above normal, Brown = below)

Week 4 Temperatures (yellow/orange = above normal, blue = below)