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ENOUGH WINTER ALREADY...

The first thing I saw Monday morning on my phone was a text from an old friend who lives near Marshalltown, Iowa. You can read the message yourself. While the snow he wrote the message in didn't amount to much, it is the 4th measurable snow of the season for him through October 26th. From what I can gather, that's never happened before in eastern Iowa. Thanks for thinking of me Kevin! Not a flake or a flurry to be found here in Portland, Maine. Poor me! As mentioned (and was expected) this event was no big deal around my area but there were spots in the NW third of Iowa that measured up to 5 inches. Here's the totals reported on the Iowa Mesonet. For the snow season so far, here are the amo

SNOWY, COLD START TO WEEK

Snow fell in parts of the Midwest Sunday and a few inches piled up in northwest Iowa, even covering the roads at times: (Photo via Iowa DOT snow plow camera) Some snow showers will linger into Monday morning across parts of Iowa and Illinois as a disturbance moves through: Accumulation will be pretty minor, especially south of Highway 20: Then even colder air settles in behind this front for Monday afternoon: Temperatures will be close to records for Monday for the coldest high temperatures on October 26th, records will likely be set in areas where more snow fell. Same concept Monday night into Tuesday morning: Tuesday remains cold but temperatures will gradually climb through the rest of th

ANOTHER ROUND OF SNOW SUNDAY...

Cold air has settled back in and now another system will roll through and bring the chance for a wintry mix and accumulating snow on Sunday. Sunday afternoon will be another chilly one with temperatures in the 30s and 40s: Precipitation will be most likely in the late afternoon/evening and continue into early Monday. Winter Weather Advisories haven been posted in portions of Nebraska and Iowa: The National Weather Service in Des Moines says this is the third earliest they've ever issued a Winter Weather Advisory. Here's a look at the snowfall totals on the GFS: EURO: NAM: The forecast for heavier snow will be in north/west Iowa, but it does look like most of Iowa will see some snow by the t

SOME CRAZY WEATHER, MUST BE CLOSE TO HALLOWEEN...

Wind, rain, and a wide range of temperature extremes sums up the weather around the Midwest the past couple of days. The most obvious change for many Friday was the return of much colder air. Look at these highs Thursday, a range of nearly 40 degrees. It was even more extreme for the state as a whole. The range from NW Iowa to SE Iowa was 35 to 81 (46 degrees!) Friday that warm party in SE Iowa was over with hangovers for everyone. Check out the 24 hour change. Most places in SE Iowa near and south of I-80 were 30-35 degrees cooler by nightfall. At least the rain ended with the arrival of the cold air. It was a wet system though with 2 day rainfall totals of 1-3" common. A few places came in

HOT TO THE PRESS...DERECHO 911, IOWA'S INLAND HURRICANE...

PAUL BROOKS, THE INLAND HURRICANE APPROACHING After 10 weeks of work my new book Derecho 911 is nearing completion. The manuscript is finalized and the layout nearly finished. When that's done it's off to the publisher. I'm told from the printer to you it will be 4-6 weeks before it arrives in your mail box. In advance of its arrival I am beginning pre-sales exclusively on TSwails.com. For those who purchase early you can save $2 dollars off the regular price BEFORE AFTER COSTLIEST STORM IN UNITED STATES HISTORY As you may have heard this thunderstorm is considered to be the costliest in U.S. history, that inc

THE SMORGASBOARD OF WEATHER...

Thursday will start soggy and mild around the region as strong warm advection brings heavy showers and storms. As the day wears on the warm front causing them slowly but steadily advances north and by late afternoon should be over northern Iowa and southern Wisconsin. That does two things. It temporarily shuts the rain down in most areas from north to south in the morning and it allows temperatures to warm significantly. Here's what readings are expected to look like on the EURO. You can clearly see where the warm front is located. My concern is that the front is slower than projected leaving readings cooler than what the operational models are showing, especially north of HWY 30. The GFS is

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 regularly right here on TSwails.com. Take it away Steve! AN OCTOBER WINTER STORM: On October 25, 1898 a major winter storm affected a good portion of the state, esp

PASS THE PEAS PLEASE...

The snow season has come on like gang busters here in the Midwest. Tuesday was the 3rd consecutive day that measurable snow has been observed in some part of the region. The epicenter for Tuesday's accumulation was Minnesota and Wisconsin where up to 11" piled up west of St. Cloud. Most of the metro area surrounding Minneapolis managed 7-9" of heavy wet snow. Here's a few reports from that area. Tuesday's snow band looked like this through late evening. Here's what fell on Monday in Iowa. This band was much more narrow in nature. Here's what your 72 hour totals look like. As impressive as this is for October, there is more snow to come before the pattern breaks toward the end of the month. I

WEATHERGEDDON, 2020 KEEPS ON GIVING...

Well, I sure picked a fine time to leave Iowa. First I miss the incredible August derecho. If you haven't heard, the big news over the weekend is that damage estimates from the storm have have soared to 7.5 billion dollars! That makes it the costliest thunderstorm in United States history, worse than any tornado and most hurricanes. My book on the event, Derecho 911, Iowa's Inland Hurricane is currently in the lay out phase and should hit the publishing stage in a couple weeks. The goal is to have it available to you by Christmas. I will begin pre-sales on this site late this week. If you are interested I can save you a few bucks if you buy in the pre-sales stage. The cover looks like this a

MORE SNOW, THEN A CHANCE FOR STORMS....

Snow fell Saturday morning parts of the Midwest, mostly in Iowa! The snow was heavy at times and accumulated on elevated surfaces, cars, and grass. Here's a look at the snowfall totals: With the chill set in there's a chance for another batch of a wintry mix/snow on Monday. There will be a chance in the late morning/early afternoon as a disturbance tracks through the Midwest. There's some uncertainty on the intensity and placement of the snow right now. Here's a look at the GFS: The hi-resolution NAM: There may be some minor snow/sleet accumulations once again in grassy and elevated areas. Temperatures will be held down in the 30s to low 40s Monday afternoon: Temperatures will be in the 50s

SNOWFLAKES IN OCTOBER...

Cold air has taken over and with that comes different types of precipitation. There will be a few chances of seeing some snowflakes over the next two days. A cold front moved through Saturday and now colder air is moving in. There will be a weak disturbance that moves through in the morning and lead to the chance for rain, but also some wet snow/sleet mixed in. Temperatures will be much colder compared to Saturday and highs will be well below normal once again: There will be another disturbance that moves through Monday and brings another chance for a wintry mix/snow: There may be some minor snowfall accumulations, mainly in grassy areas. Here's the snowfall accumulation total on the high-re

INDIAN SUMMER SATURDAY, THEN THE PLUNGE SUNDAY...

Friday started cold around the region with most areas at or below the freezing mark. On top of that a few brief rain showers popped up that in some cases was mixed with snow. Most of this was in east central Iowa. Steve Gottschalk in Lowden, Iowa reported his first snowflakes and had this to say about a folklore he watches for the first snow, "The snowbirds ( a migrating bird) showed up on the 6th and they were right about seeing the first snow within 2 weeks". These are Friday mornings lows. Essentially all of my area has now experienced its first freeze which means any stretch of mild weather now is considered to be Indian Summer. I mention this as Saturday will be a day that qualifies wi

WOOLLY BEARS AND WASPS, THE 2021 WINTER BASED ON FOLKLORE...

Making a winter forecast is difficult in a couple of ways. First and foremost, just as with any forecast, you need to accurately read and interpret the signs. That could be global sea surface temperatures, influences from the southern oscillation (La Nina/El Nino), model projections of blocks and storm tracks, analogs, and well you get the idea. The other big challenge is the fact that a seasonal forecast is issued months before the outcome is known. Models have a tough time picking up trends beyond 10 days let along 3-4 months. If you grasp the difficulties we face today, imagine the challenges the native Americans and early settlers faced centuries ago. Way before computers and the inventi

THE OTHER SHOE DROPS...

We got by with another fine day Wednesday but the shoe is already dropping and that means cooler days are here again. On the GOES 16 satellite imagery Wednesday night you can see the arc of clouds associated with the push of today's cold air. Behind the front temperatures were definitely colder Wednesday up north as you can see in the 24 change chart. The cool air will come on brisk NW winds Thursday. They are shown here Wednesday and they will be ours Thursday. Most of the area looks to be 22-24 degrees colder today than what we enjoyed Wednesday afternoon. Below are the 24 hour temperature change shown on the GFS. Here are the mid-afternoon temperature projections on the GFS. Friday's high

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 regularly right here on TSwails.com. Take it away Steve! FROM SEVERE WEATHER TO HEAVY SNOW: On October 19, 1882 a strong storm system produced severe weather across

IT'S BUMP DAY AND THEN WHO KNOWS...

Hump day will be "bump day" as far as temperatures go around the central Midwest. Readings will start cool but soar in the afternoon as strong SW winds advect warm out ahead of a low pressure passing through Minnesota. The set-up looks good for highs in the central and southern parts of my area to reach 75 to 80. The north will be impacted by a late day cold front that will keep readings several degrees cooler. Here's what the GFS has for highs As mentioned, wind will be a factor with some gusts reaching into the range of 35-40 mph. Below are 10 meter gusts just above the surface so they will be 5-10 mph stronger than what we are likely to see at ground level. Still Strong. Then we begin a c

A LITTLE PAYBACK COMING...

Excluding Monday's disruption, we just went through a 7 day period of extraordinary weather with the average high October 6-11th, 80 degrees in the Quad Cities. The weekend was brilliant, as good as it gets! You can see this was quite a turn-around from where the month started. We went from a departure of 16 below normal the 3rd, to one that was16 above normal the 9th and 11th Monday we took a a few steps back with a cold front that generated some clouds and scattered showers. Rain totals were meager in my area with the more significant amounts to to the north. Here's some of the totals in my local area. With the passage of the front and a shift in winds we are now in a cooler air mass. As

STORMS THEN A CHILL....

A cold front will move through the region Sunday night into Monday morning and bring in showers and storms. Some strong storms will be possible, particularly in western/central Iowa. This is the latest outlook from the Storm Prediction Center: In the slight risk area (yellow) is where strong winds, hail and even some tornadoes will be possible. Storms will be weakening as they head east overnight and into Monday morning. There could still be some gusty winds (up to 40 mph) in eastern Iowa and western Illinois/Wisconsin, but storms will be in a weakening state. Once the storms pass by some cooler air does start to move in for next week. Temperatures will still be running above normal for the

ENJOY IT WHILE IT LASTS!

It's going to be a nice, warm rest of the weekend. Things start to change next week so enjoy the warm, calm weather while it lasts.... Sunday is going to be another sunny, mild day: Sunday night is when things start to change. A cold front will move through the area late Sunday into early Monday morning. With that there will be some showers and thunderstorms: Showers and thunderstorms are likely as the front passes through. Some storms may be strong, particularly Sunday afternoon/evening in western Iowa into Minnesota: Strong winds and hail will be the main threats with these storms as they move through. Storms will likely weaken as they move through eastern Iowa and western Illinois, but so

A FLAKY FUTURE FOR SOME IN THE MIDWEST...

I ran across an analysis of long-term snowfall trends that finds that snowfall has been decreasing across much of the United States in the spring and fall (“shoulder seasons”) Results from 145 locations show that 116 stations (80%) had decreased snowfall before December, and 96 stations (66%) had decreased snowfall after March 1. Winter snow trends however, were more of a mixed record—with more snow in northern locations and less snow in southern regions of the U.S. Here's a more specific break-down of city snowfall trends before December. Blue dots represent an increasing trend while pink indicates a decrease. Overall, an 80 percent decrease across the US. City snow trends after March 1st s

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