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CHALLENGING WINTER STORM...

A strong winter storm will be moving through the Midwest this weekend. Ahead of it everyone is thawing out with temperatures well above normal. Still at 9 pm on Friday most of the Midwest was above freezing!

It's going to be another mild day on Saturday. There will be more clouds in place, but temperatures will be about 10 to 15 degrees above normal!

Next comes the storm. In my local area it's been clear for several days this storm was going to bring a warm and rainy Sunday. The exact track of the storm will determine just how warm it gets Sunday and how much rain we receive. An even bigger challenge is where exactly the heavy snow sets up. What is certain is the potential for some big snowfall totals and strong winds.

Here's the position of the storm Sunday evening on the GFS:

The Euro:

And the NAM:

The GFS is the furthest north and the NAM is furthest south. There has been a trend for a slower storm and trend to the south. The question is how far south because this has implications on the placement of the snow. Here are the three models once again with the projected snowfall totals through Monday night.

The GFS:

The Euro:

And the NAM:

There are some big differences in the placement of the snow -- especially where it concerns northern and northwestern Iowa along with southern Minnesota. There will be the potential for some big numbers on the board along with 25 to 40 mph winds Sunday and Monday.

The GFS has been pretty consistent but the other models have been trending further south. There is good consistency on the numbers - with some of the higher snowfall totals around a foot.

Right now the National Weather Service has posted Winter Storm Watches across a good swath of the Midwest.

There will likely be some changes in Iowa and Minnesota and the watch will be upgraded to warnings in spots, especially when the track of the storm becomes clearer. To the south of the storm it is going to be mild, windy and wet! And there could be some hefty rainfall totals on the board (especially by January standards). The GFS and Euro below --

These numbers will change with the track of the storm as well. Hopefully there will be some more agreement among the models and a better idea of the track. Just a couple of miles can mean a world of a difference with snowfall. Wherever the heaviest snow does fall though will be a tough go with strong winds and colder temperatures.

RK

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