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As expected, with pressures rising in the western tropical Pacific, Thursday's SOI (Southern Oscillation Index) continued to fall. The reading today was -40.11 against the base state.

That's a drop in the index of 66.77 over the past 10 days.

Based on what I'm seeing sea level pressures are expected to stay high (above normal over Darwin, Australia) the next 10 days. Here's the sea level pressure anomaly for day 10.

Combined with what's going on with the MJO (Madden Julian Osciallation) and the EPO (Eastern Pacific Oscillation) I really think we are headed into a pattern change and we'll be saying goodbye to this outrageous warmth by the end of next week. Change is coming!

Let me show you what the MJO is forecast to do. In the next 2-3 weeks it rolls through phases 1-3. This time of year those correlate to negative temperature departures. Here you go, follow the dotted green line through the different phases.

I also mentioned the EPO and its move toward negative territory. Much like the SOI, every time we've had any sort of cold the EPO has been in a negative state. Below you can see the the 18z GEFS ensemble control goes crazy dropping below 5 standard deviations. The mean is not so radical but still strongly negative starting February 25th.

With 3 powerful teleconnections indicating a colder pattern, my confidence is certainly growing that the end of February and start of March will be far from the warmth the Midwest experiences the next 6 days. In fact, the operational models are starting to catch the trend. Look at the 5,000 FT. temperature departures for days 1-5 and then 11-16. Night and day.

The 0z GFS 500mb jet looks like this March 2nd. That has winter written all over it...providing it verifies. The ridge in the Gulf of Alaska is in a perfect spot to tap cold air. The trough set-up over the southwest is the best I've seen all winter for snow in the central U.S. I really love the look of this chart!

Anyway, while the pattern stays dry through the weekend, it becomes more energetic next week as the storm track takes aim on the middle of the country. Over the next 16 days the GFS has this for total precipitation. A very wet look to say the least.

Just for kicks, (since that's all it's worth at this range) I'll show you what the GFS 16 day snowfall forecast looks like. The only take-away here is the trend which is clearly a snowy one.

I'll end on this. No matter what happens in the long term, this is going to be a mighty fine weekend around the Midwest. Record or near record highs are on the table for many. Enjoy and Roll weather...TS

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