What a weekend. I'm in Madison, Wisconsin and people everywhere are out in short sleeves and shorts. They are hearty up here and I think they feel it's 80 instead of 60! No matter, it was a glorious day and we toured the state capital (its really sensational), strolled State Street, and rubbed elbows with what seemed like hundreds of badger fans. Thanks to meteorologist Rebecca Kopelman for helping out with posts so I can spend some quality time with the family. It's Eden's 13th birthday!
Even though I'm away It's really hard for me not to take a moment to discuss this remarkable weather pattern. We are in the midst of something really unusual and special. I can't begin to tell you just how rare the magnitude and duration of this event is. For example, the high Friday (Feb. 17th) was 71 in Cedar Rapids and we usually don't see that type of temperature until about April 1st.
Here's a sampling of some afternoon readins around the Midwest.
A tighter view.
I came across a statistic on the Iowa Mesonet that helps encapsulate the winter. It's the number of hours with sub-zero wind chills in Des Moines. As of February 16th the number stood at 133, typically it would be 310.
Snow cover as of Saturday morning has really dwindled all across the Midwest. Look at this graphic.
What a change from mid-December, especially in Iowa. You can see in the graphic below how virtually the entire state had an inch December 17th. Today it's virtually all gone.
Things are going to change but not until the end of next week. The SOI as I said it would, crashed to -52 yesterday indicating an injection of energy that will bring cold and some snow to the Midwest. Here's a GFS meteogram for Cedar Rapids. It goes from a high of 64 Thursday to one of 24 Saturday. For what it's worth which is not much at this distance, it also shows 4" of snow!
I'm not going to dwell on the negative but I do want you to be aware the party will come to a harsh end in about 5 days. Time for dinner. So many places to chose, so little time and money! Roll weather...TS