JUST ENOUGH TO BE A NUISANCE....

A weak disturbance will cross the area this afternoon and evening bringing periods of light snow in the north and potentially mixed rain and snow showers in the south. Accumulations will be minimal but some areas, especially near or just north of HWY 30 could see 1/2 to an inch of snow. Below you can see what the EURO is depicting for total snowfall. With warmer temperatures in the south and lighter qpf little if any accumulation is expected. Even in the north where some snow falls readings will be around 32 limiting issues on treated roads and surfaces. The whole tiny mess will end from west to east this evening and should be done in most of my area by midnight at the latest. New data on ne

ONE YEAR AGO, ALL-TIME RECORD COLD...PLUS MORE SNOW

I was grumbling earlier today how dreary it's been and how I can't recall the last time I saw the sun. Then it hit me, what in tarnation am I complaining about? Just a year ago we were in the midst of a horrendous deep freeze that set records for all-time cold and in some cases wind chills. Here's a little refresher in the big-chill from last years blog pertaining to the subject.... THE BIG CHILL OF 2019... The Midwest is in the process of recovering from a historic outbreak of cold weather. Every reporting station in my area established daily record lows Wednesday and Thursday morning. In Cedar Rapids and the Quad Cities, all-time record lows were established. Additionally, here in Cedar Ra

FLIPPING THE SWITCH TO COLD...

I've saw some things on the charts Wednesday that got me to set up in the chair a little higher than I usually do. Before I get into it I do want to caution that these are nothing more than trends in their early stages. I never like to make long range forecasts off forecasts but if the evidence is strong I'll certainly pass it along. The first thing I will throw at you are the 500mb jet stream heights. Right now in Alaska they are very low indicating the existing presence of cold dense air. In less than 2 weeks the GFS forecasts them to explosively rise. Look at the difference side by side. 488 heights today...576 February 12th. That's a rise in heights of 88 decimeters which indicates a dra

STEVE'S "WILD" WORLD OF WEATHER...

When I'm wondering about weather folklore and historical events this is the man I go to. With more than 50 years of statistical and observational research, he's the dude! When it comes to lunar cycles, woolly bear caterpillars, insects, bugs, and animals, he tracks them, records them, and establishes ties to weather patterns. He's a knowledgeable and interesting man. His name is Steve Gottschalk by way of Lowden, Iowa. I'm grateful to him for lending his unique perspective to the site. Steve's "wild" world of weather can be found every week right here on TSwails.com. Take it away Steve! THE TERRIFIC BLIZZARD OF JAN. 28-30, 1909 The storm began as light rain on the 28th and became heavier dur

A LATE JANUARY THAW, THEN A FALL...

The rest of the week promises little (if any) in the way of sunshine, continuing a dreary trend that goes back more than a week. The pattern also includes some some weak forcing in the form of 2 meager troughs that could kick up some periods of light snow or flurries. The first is slated to arrive Wednesday and it looks weak. What little impacts it creates occur over my western counties where some models do try and generate up to 1/2" of snow. I'm not sold on amounts reaching that level but some spots could squeeze out 1/4 to perhaps 1/2" of snow, especially west of I-380 running from Waterloo to Cedar Rapids and on to Iowa City. Totals east of there should be minimal if any. The EURO shows

(G.O.A.T.) THE GREATEST 48 HRS OF WEATHER ALL-TIME...

January 24-26th, 1967 marked the anniversary of one of the most remarkable weather events in Midwest history. 53 years ago an unprecedented tornado outbreak exploded over southeastern Iowa and portions of Missouri, Illinois, and Wisconsin January 24th. There were at least 13 tornadoes in Iowa with many of them producing significant F2 or F3 damage. To this day, these are the only January tornadoes ever reported in Iowa. Two tornadoes struck Lee County resulting in 10 injuries, and one of those tornadoes produced F3 damage that killed a youngster west of Fort Madison. Another tornado produced F4 damage just across the border in northeastern Missouri before entering Davis County Iowa. Later th

NO DROUGHT BUT THE PATTERN LOOKS DRIER...FOR A TIME!

After a rather active period of weather it appears the next week or so should be relatively dry. That's not a bad thing as the past 18 months overall have been wet ones around the Midwest. Notice that not a single part of the Midwest has drought conditions going as of late January. In fact, no region is even as much as abnormally dry. Things won't get any wetter going forward as the next 10 days look drier than normal. This is the 10 day precipitation departure on the EURO EPS ensemble. Here's the actual precipitation forecast off the EPS. Pretty meager. After all the action of the past 2 weeks which has produced 8-16" of snow for much of my area, I'm ready for a break. However, all I want i

A QUIET WEEK AHEAD...

We're all aware of how active the weather has been lately. Since January 11th, in my local area, there has been measurable snow every two to three days. That has added up to 12.6" over the last two-ish weeks. Which is quite the contrast from December where we hardly had three inches over 31 days! That has also led to cooler temperatures compared to December and the beginning of January. Here's the temperature departures for the last week... Temperatures have been running near and below normal. Nothing terribly extreme, even with a good snowpack in place, but it has been on the cold side. Even with the snow on the ground temperatures are going to be warmer this week. In the upper levels there

KEEP CALM AND MELT ON....

First and foremost I wanted to give a shout out to everyone who attended the first TSwails Weather School on Saturday. It was great meeting all of you and sharing our passion of weather! We hope to do more sessions and we'll of course keep everyone updated when that happens. Now onto the weather... Temperatures will generally be running near and above normal for the next week or so. This is the latest outlook from the Climate Prediction Center through the beginning of February. This means temperatures will be near and slightly above freezing. This is due to a big ridge (area of high pressure) sitting over Canada. Very few, weak systems will move through the area during this time. Notice the

TIME FOR A BREATHER...

Saturday is Weather School Day here at the ranch in Marion. 50 people are enrolled in the 5 hour class that I and meteorologists Rebecca (RK) Kopleman and Nick (Rocket Man) Stewart will deliver. It's been a big day of final preparations but we are fired up and ready to go. The monitors are in place, so is the sound system and food. 50 chairs were delivered in the snow and silently await the students. Carolyn, Nimbus, and I also found time to shovel 3.5" of heavy wet snow and clean the house. We're good! We have so much content to deliver that I doubt we will get to it all. We are also planning to video the event and if we are satisfied with the quality we plan to offer the session online. Th

A CLOSE CALL ON SNOW PART II

The first wave of snow that whitened much of the area overnight and Friday morning has pretty much fizzled out. Scattered snow showers are all that remains and even those will become few and far between by evening. Little if any accumulation expected the rest of the day. Later Friday evening a second wave of energy sweeps in from the east bringing another round of snow. From all indications this will be a significant snow band with up to 6" in parts of northern Illinois. However, for my area only a glancing blow is expected over far western Illinois where a few spots could see up to 2". That is the high end and most places near the Mississippi will see an inch or less. Little if any snow mak

MORE SNOW TO START THE WEEKEND... AGAIN!

For the 4th consecutive Friday snow will fall in my area. Here's the latest on the storm and what you can expect in what I'm calling the "4th installment". Roll weather...TS

NEW THOUGHTS ON THE NEXT SNOW...

The next system to impact the region with snow is beginning to come together over Kansas. Low pressure at 500mb is closing off as it gets set to make the bend and push into Missouri tonight. Moisture is already being pulled northward and that will spread snow back into my area tonight, especially after midnight. Occasional light to moderate snow should last into Friday (even Friday night over the area southeast of a line from roughly Dubuque to Cedar Rapids. In this area 2-6" are possible with the heaviest totals (5-6") along and east of the Mississippi including the Quad Cities. Some of the hi-res models have 7-8" from about the Quad Cities through most of Northern Illinois. Will need to wa

ONE DOWN, ANOTHER SNOW TO GO...

Slowly but surely the first part of our double barreled storm system made its way across the region Wednesday. Snow fell over a large part of Iowa but as it moved east it fizzled a bit east of the Mississippi as it encountered resistance from dry air and out ran its upper air support. In general accumulations were in the 1-3" range. The totals you see below are from the Iowa Mesonet through 2:25 am. Some places had more but the reports have not come in that would fill in the gaps over eastern Iowa. Of course we are in the heart of winter so there's nothing shocking about snow. In fact, the period we are in now lasting through mid February on average sees at least some light snow once every 3

STEVE'S "WILD" WORLD OF WEATHER...

When I'm wondering about weather folklore and historical events this is the man I go to. With more than 50 years of statistical and observational research, he's the dude! When it comes to lunar cycles, woolly bear caterpillars, insects, bugs, and animals, he tracks them, records them, and establishes ties to weather patterns. He's a knowledgeable and interesting man. His name is Steve Gottschalk by way of Lowden, Iowa. I'm grateful to him for lending his unique perspective to the site. Steve's "wild" world of weather can be found every week right here on TSwails.com. Take it away Steve! JANUARY OF 1982...ONE FOR THE BOOKS: The first in a series of nasty January weekends plagued the state of

FLAKES WILL BE FLYING ONCE AGAIN...

A long duration light to occasionally moderate snow event is entering the central Midwest. Here's the latest by way of video regarding what we can expect for snow between Wednesday afternoon and Friday night...Roll weather! TS

A DOUBLE DIP OF SNOW...

A rather complex winter weather event is setting up that will bring a prolonged period of snow to the area starting Wednesday that continues on an occasional basis into Friday. The first wave is not much more than warm advection as southerly winds pull warm moist air back into the cold we've seen since Saturday. That has the potential to bring 1-2" of snow (some models show 3"), especially to the area west of the Mississippi. A bit lighter to the east. After a lull in the snow, the more influential system comes in the form of a closed upper air low Thursday night and Friday. The warm conveyor belt around that should increase lift once again and generate a secondary band of snow over much of

THOUGHTS ON MID TO LATE WEEK SNOW...

Another complex storm is expected to impact the area with the potential for accumulating snows. It looks to be a prolonged event that includes two periods of accumulation. Here's the latest on the trends from TSwails late Monday night. Roll weather....

MORE WINTRY WEATHER ON THE WAY...

Before I get to the wintry weather ahead, I just wanted to mention that I have 2 spots still available for weather school this Saturday. My guest presenters, (TV meteorologists Rebecca Kopelman and Nick Stewart) and I had a meeting over the weekend to go over content and I was super pleased with what we have to offer. Some very compelling sessions on major weather events that have impacted the Midwest (and the nation such as the Joplin tornado and the super tornado outbreak of 2011 in Alabama...awesome videos included). We also have sessions on long term, medium, and short range forecasting We'll show you how to find the data online and work with you to break it down, perform analysis, and p

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