THE LITTLE THINGS ADD UP....
Since the 23rd of October, there's not been much in the way of rain or snow around the central Midwest. The storm track which has been predominantly in northwest flow has prevented moisture from entering the few fast moving disturbances that have been able to spin up.
In Cedar Rapids the total moisture measured here since October 23rd has been a meager 1.25" (3.00" is normal). Our largest precipitation event during this 76 day period has been .36" and that was way back on November 12th.
The area that's seen the most precipitation is in a relatively narrow band that extends from central Iowa to EC Illinois, just clipping my far southern counties. The 30 day totals look like this.
The 30 day percent of normal figures are really telling with much of the Midwest experiencing only 15 to 35% of their normal 30 day precip.
The lack of moisture and cold air up until Christmas has really hindered snowfall. As you can see below about the only places that are doing well in the snowfall department are the lake belt regions around Superior and Lake Michigan.
Much of my area has seen just 25-50 percent of their annual snowfall through January 7th. So far, another sub-par year for snow lovers.
I did take a look at the new EURO weeklies and while they show a couple mild periods ahead, the overall trend is for colder weather to return later in January and stick around through much of February. 45 day temperature departures on the EURO look like this. In general I like where the model is headed.
Just as interesting as the cold is the increase in precipitation that the weeklies are depicting. 32 day mean totals on the EPS look like this.These are not extreme amounts but they are near to slightly above normal. After the dryness I showed you the past 75 days it would be an important change. We shall see.
Last but not least, cold and moisture would point towards a couple of decent snow systems. The 32 day mean snow on the EPS is generous over all of the central and upper Midwest.
The next storm to produce rain or snow is due in Wednesday night and Thursday. The track is not good for significant snow in my area but the northwest third to half of Iowa should get white on into Minnesota and Wisconsin. The GFS shows this for snow through Thursday night.
You might notice a narrow band of snow from parts of eastern Iowa and NW Illinois into Wisconsin. I can't say if this is a real feature or not but the GFS implies a small wave that causes the snow. We'll see if this trend holds in later runs.
In the meantime, enjoy the warmer temperatures. We've undoubtedly earned them. Roll weather...TS