April, last seen in central Missouri back in early March, has returned to the Heartland. Cool and showery weather, more typical for this time of year, has displaced the summer-like warmth that dominated the last few weeks. As I walked into a chilly east wind and misty air this morning, it was 47 degrees F; today's high should stay in the fifties and tonight's low is expected to dip into the thirties.
The culprit for this dose of reality is a potent upper level low, the same system that produced the Texas tornadoes and Front Range snow earlier this week. Now parked over the central Mississippi Valley, it is pulling down cool air from the Great Lakes region while also drawing moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. As a result, thunderstorms will rumple across the Deep South while the rest of the eastern U.S. will experience the seasonal invasion of chilly April showers.
After the exceptional heat of March, many in the Midwest and East likely anticipated an unbroken run through summer and may have packed away the sweaters and parkas. But the extended forecast suggests that April weather will hang on for at least another week, just in time for the Opening Day of baseball and the Masters Golf Tournament, cultural symbols of the American spring.