Make no mistake about it, Tuesday was one lame day around much of the central Midwest. Rain fell for much of the day (even thunderstorms) with temperatures in the 40s and 50s. That north wind up to 25mph also created wind chills that at times were well into the 30s in the western half of Iowa. If that wasn't bad enough, Spirit Lake in the far northwest reported the first Iowa snowflakes of the season!
Here was the set-up at 4:40pm. A surface low in Illinois with a cold conveyor belt keeping temperatures in the 40s from Cedar Rapids to the west.
These are some of the rainfall estimates as of 8:00pm from the Iowa Mesonet. Any place in green saw at least an inch. Here in Cedar Rapids we had 1.37" and Dubuque went over 1.50" That's the first time since November 2nd of 2016 that more than an inch of rain fell in a calendar day at the Cedar Rapids airport. Nearly a year!
Even further to the west Laramie, Wyoming set a record low of 2 below Tuesday morning. That crushed the old mark of 7 set in 2009. The old record is interesting because that cold air mass in 2009 produced nearly 7 inches of snow in SW Iowa. As far east as Cedar Rapids a trace was reported. The 6.7" measured at Underwood, Iowa was the second highest snowfall for so early in the season.
Since there was snow in Iowa Tuesday (exactly 8 years later) it makes you wonder what the winter of 2009-10 was like. I did some digging and found that it was a tough winter. Snowfall was above average in many areas (40-45" locally) and there were extended periods of significant cold. In fact, in Cedar Rapids the average winter temperature was 5.2 below normal which makes it the 8th coldest on record at the airport. It will be fun to see if it turns out there's a correlation to 2009.
I did see the EURO weeklies and that showed some positive trends if you are looking for the white gold. Here's the 46 day snowfall forecast from the ensemble means. This takes us up to Thanksgiving and you can see the model is in a giving mood. Canada and the Rockies are really snowed under. I would be thrilled if this verifies.
Temperatures heading into Thanksgiving are also expected to be much colder. The weeklies have this for temperature departures the week of November 17th-24th.
If the weeklies are correct, winter will be kicking into high gear about the time I'm eating gobbler and pumpkin pie. Turkey and a side of snow...Mmmm! Roll weather...TS