Weather Blog: Look ahead to Memorial Day weekend - to rain or not to rain?

Posted at 6:34 AM, May 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-22 07:43:39-04

Good Monday bloggers,

We will look into the Memorial Day weekend which on average is one of the wettest weekends of the year. There are many yards and farms in need of rain ASAP. There are some locations in our area that are running 5-6 inches below average rainfall since April 1.


But, if it is not going to rain, we might as well have some nice weather for graduation and Memorial Day weekend. There is another location in North America that needs rain even more than we do.

The location we are talking about is western Canada, specifically Alberta and eastern British Columbia. Large wildfires have been raging for several weeks bringing waves of smoke into the USA. The smoke is mostly at 10,000-20,000 feet, but it is near the surface, at times, in the northern USA and certainly near the surface in cities like Edmonton and Calgary.


We are not forgetting the western Plains where a significant drought has been ongoing for two years.


There is good news for the western Plains and western Canada when it comes to beneficial rain. Our area...well, it's a different story.

Monday morning there was a developing big and slow-moving storm system affecting western Canada and a small system from western Kansas to the Texas panhandle.


The weather pattern this week will keep the rain chances going for western Canada and the western Plains, but not so much around here.

A ridge is forming in the middle of the USA. This is the opposite of a storm system and creates sinking air and dry weather. Any rain occurs on the west edge of the ridge where storm systems track north on the west side of the ridge. The main jet stream is up in Canada and this is allowing a flow of storm systems to track into western Canada.


There is a day where there is a chance for a few showers and thunderstorms in our area. Wednesday is the day, but coverage of showers and thunderstorms will be low. Since we are going to be located in the middle of the ridge we would see a few showers and thunderstorm each day into the weekend, but a cold front will move in from the northeast. This is also known as a "backdoor cold front" as it arrives from the northeast instead of the usual northwest or west.

This front will bring in drier air, pushing the shower and thunderstorm chances to the west.


Rainfall the next seven days will be quite plentiful in the drought areas of the western Plains where 2-5 inches of rain is possible. Some locations around our area may see a paltry .25 inches mainly Wednesday. If the showers and thunderstorms get going more, then some isolated locations could eek out .50-1 inch of rain.


Western Canada will likely see 2-5 inches of rain which is tremendously great news. This is the kind of rain that could put out some of the wildfires, thus reducing the amount of smoke moving into the USA.


Our Super 10 Day forecast as of Monday morning features the slight chances for a few showers and thunderstorms Wednesday and/or Thursday and Monday of Memorial Day weekend.

So, right now it looks like two of the three holiday weekend days will be dry. Changes next week may lead to better rain and thunderstorm chances around here. The changes could start Sunday or Memorial Day or wait until Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. We will follow this through the week.


Have a great week
Stay healthy