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Edward Lee Swails (the family hamster better known as ED), is my eastern Iowa groundhog. Since I know of no others in the area I have assigned him the task of letting us all know if there’s 6 more weeks of winter ahead of us. My forecast calls for morning sunshine so I expect he will see his shadow implying winter is far from over. Ed will be wrong (in my opinion) but since he’s part of the family I’ll let it slide.

I will give him this much, the next few days look chilly with highs in the 20s. However, after that we bounce high and low until another big warm-up builds into the Midwest late next week.

It all starts with the SOI (southern oscillation index) and its relationship to the MJO (Madden Julian Oscillation). After being negative for much of the past week, foretelling the cold we are now experiencing, its quickly turned positive. Below you can see Wednesday’s reading of 15.13

The spike into positive territory is the impetus for the MJO to make a run into its warm phases over the central Midwest in about a week to 10 days. If you follow the dotted green lines you can see the projected path through phases 4, 5, 6, and 7. Below I’ve shown the temperature correlation for each of those phases in February. Some eye opening departures for sure.

Those projected temperature departures are showing up on the long range ensembles. Look at what the models are showing starting with the EURO day 10-15 departure.

Here’s the CFSv2 day 10-15 departures.

Now the GEFS day 11-16 day departures.

I’ll even throw in the official long range outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

Bottom line here is that there is excellent agreement in the long range guidance that the 2nd and perhaps 3rd week of February will be very much on the mild side. Well, my mantra is and always has beeen, if it isn’t going to snow it might as well be warm. Roll weather…TS

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