WHAT A WEEK OF WEATHER IT WAS....
The last week has been absolute heaven here in the Midwest. Since Christmas lows over much of my area have been below zero 7 times (including records of -24 and -23 here in Cedar Rapids. That period also included a wind chill of 49 below and 78 consecutive hours where highs never reached zero. Additionally, most of my area picked up 5-9" of snow. Now that's what I call a week of weather!
The temperature departures for the past 7 days. Easy to see where the core of the cold's been located as it bleeds southeast into the nation.
Here's Tuesday morning's lows which set records in Waterloo, Iowa City, and Cedar Rapids.
Snow cover around the Midwest looks healthier as of Tuesday.
Wednesday the 500mb flow shows the jet turning in again from the northwest. This will see to it that temperatures remain well below normal through Saturday. In fact wind chill advisories will be back in effect Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
Lows will again drop below zero Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning. Saturday has the potential to start with lows back in that range of 14-19 below depending in the ridge axis. If it's directly overhead and we have light winds and clear skies heavy duty radiational cooling is likely.
After that a strong fetch of southerly winds will bring a nice thaw Sunday. Highs may hit the low 30s into my southern counties but moisture will be in the increase.
That's where things are likely to turn active again in the 6-10 day period. A system is shown crossing the Midwest Sunday that should bring at least the threat of light snow, even a mix is possible near and south of I-80. The GFS is quite warm at 850 (near to slightly above freezing in much of my area. That could also lead to a freezing rain threat for some. I suspect there may be more evaporative cooling than the model is showing if the system gains the strength the GFS shows.
The EURO is cooler and depicts some potential for a more substantial snow event, at least in a narrow corridor. With all the discrepancy I think it's prudent to hold off on and snowfall forecasts until there's better model agreement. It will still be another 48 hours before the energy and mass fields are well sampled. So, all I will say for now is keep an eye out for Sunday/Sunday night.
Another system is likely towards the middle or end of next week. While its very early I have seen signs that some parts of the Midwest could be in line for a decent snow. We'll worry about that after we get things sorted out this weekend. Until next time, roll weather...TS