May 31, 2016 Updated: 10:45 AM
Hopefully you had a chance to get outdoors and enjoy the lovely weather yesterday. It turned out to be a picture perfect weather day for all the Memorial Day observances with abundant sunshine and highs in the low 80s. It certainly felt like summer on what many people consider to be the unofficial kickoff to the season. Well, now that will all just be a memory as temperatures begin to cool and rain continues falling off and on throughout the day. This is all due to a low pressure system to our northwest with a cold front stretching down through the Plains. Expect to need the umbrella for much of the day along with a mostly cloudy sky. The highest concentration is expected in the afternoon and evening, when a few storms could be strong to severe. Any rain that falls through the day could be locally heavy. This means that Eau Claire will most certainly end the month of May with above average rainfall totals as we started the final day of the month below normal by just 0.09". Minneapolis and La Crosse are still closer to 0.80" below normal, but there is a possibility we could see that much rain, especially with a couple of thunderstorms later today. Highs will be staying in the mid 70s for most, though some 80s are expected to the south. Showers and storms will then slide east through the evening, as rain chances diminish going into the night. This system could easily produce anywhere between one half to as much as an inch of rain, with locally higher amounts in any storms.
Once the front passes, drier air will begin to arrive, making for improving conditions for the middle of the week and arrival of June and meteorological summer (determined as the three warmest months of the year: June, July and August). An upper trough will be swinging through the Upper Midwest as this system exits, dropping temperatures just a bit and also providing the chance for a few pop up showers and storms Wednesday afternoon. Otherwise, the majority of the day will be breezy and dry with a mix of sun and clouds. Highs will be in the lower half of the 70s. Thursday will be nice with slightly below normal temperatures. Despite the mostly sunny sky, our temperatures will remain close to 70°.
The jet stream will again dip far enough south to bring another quick moving low pressure and warm front into the area Friday. We will have to watch this system as it could produce some strong storms in the area, along with more locally heavy rain. Highs will be in the seasonable 70s. The first weekend of June may see scattered showers and storms, but currently it's looking fairly dry with temperatures again topping out in the comfortable 70s.