© 2019 Terry Swails

February 14, 2017

It's very early in the year but the severe weather and tornado season has gotten off to a roaring start in the southeastern United States. Through early February we've already had 3 significant tornado outbreaks and the Storm Prediction Center claims a preliminary count of 138 tornadoes. That puts 2017 in the 90th percentile and far above the long term averages.

In the chart below you can see the 3 year average for tornadoes previous to 2017 was 1...

February 13, 2017

We're now 15 days away from the end of Meteorological Winter, and it's been pretty lean on the white gold (as Mr. Swails lovingly refers to it). The numbers don't lie - we're very behind on snow across the Midwest. 

Below is a breakdown of the snowfall we've had so far and the top 5 least snowiest years on record. 

Cedar Rapids so far as had 11.6" of snow, which is 11 inches below normal for this point in the season. Right now, we fit in at the thi...

February 13, 2017

The weather pattern the past couple weeks has been about as uneventful as it gets. A few local spots have seen some rain and snow but it's been nothing to write home about. Here's the total February precipitation reported so far from the Midwest Climate Center. Most areas have had 2/10" or less.

As you can see in the graphic below much of the region has seen less than 50% of their mean rain and snow to date. Large areas have had 10% to as little a...

February 13, 2017

Break out the bell bottoms, leisure suits, peace signs and beads, it looks like the 60s are gonna make a comeback next weekend. For several days now the long wave pattern has been hinting at the potential and today I have seen enough to put the possibility on the table.

Here's your 500mb upper air pattern that holds the key. A massive ridge returns to the east and a trough holds sway over the west. A deep fetch of southwesterly winds aloft and at...

February 11, 2017

It's no secret that this has been a dismal winter for snow over the central and southern Midwest. I've had 11" in Cedar Rapids and nearly half of that fell in one storm back in early December. The last 56 days (nearly 2 months) have seen 2.5". That's not easy to do and it clearly points out the lack of cold air since mid-December.

Up until a week ago most of the northeast had been in the same snow-less predicament. However, the past week the patte...

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