CHIPPING AWAY AT THE SNOW
After six days of below normal temperatures in the Midwest, we're going to get closer to seasonal values for the rest of the week. That will help chip away at some of the snow found around the Midwest. Here's a hi-resolution satellite image taken Wednesday afternoon of the snow under clear skies:
That snowpack contributed to the coldest night in over two months across the Midwest. In fact, a few record low temperatures were set, including in Cedar Rapids (1°) and Waterloo (-5°). That air mass has now started to kick off to the east and will bring widespread cold to the eastern U.S.
The Midwest will start to go back to a pattern that has been pretty familiar this winter - a big ridge of high pressure overhead. By Sunday the upper level pattern looks like this:
That is going to bring in more typical March weather, especially by the weekend. Here's the next 15 days on the EPS for Cedar Rapids, Moline, Des Moines, Chicago, Minneapolis and St. Louis:
Nothing too extreme - temperatures near and even below normal at times. The temperatures right now appear to stay too warm for wintry precipitation, but in the 10 to 15 day period we can see a lot of changes.
There has not been a lot of consistency with the teleconnections to really give me a clear picture of the pattern moving forward. One thing I'm keeping my eye on is the EPO - the one teleconnection that has been helping tell the story this season.
The EPO is rising right now (hence the bump up in temperatures coming) but will be coming more into neutral territory by the end of March. If it starts to trend more negative, that would indicate the potential for a colder pattern. Something to watch...
What is certain is the pattern will be getting more active in the long range. Here's the next seven days on the EPS and then the next 15... a big difference!
This is total precipitation, some of which may come as snow (especially in the far northern parts of the Midwest, as it stands right now).
I'm gonna keep my eye on the EPO for signs of cold, but for now pretty seasonable conditions on the way.