© 2019 Terry Swails

QUITE A STORM, FINALLY....

January 23, 2018

For many, the big storm of the past 36 hours delivered plenty of drama and variety. Aside from thunderstorms (nearly 2 hours of lightning at my house Sunday night), heavy rain fell in my northern counties. In Waterloo. Iowa more than 2" of rain fell. Not only did that break the record for daily precipitation, it also was the largest 24 hour precipitation event for any day in January! We all know the story of ifs and buts, but if that had all been snow it would likely have measured more than 20".

 

You can see how widespread the precipitation was through much of the central Midwest and Mississippi River Valley below. These amounts were only through 6:00am. Totalss went up substantially during the day from NW Iowa into S. Minnesota and much of Wisconsin.

In Cedar Rapids the storm was an underachiever producing only .37". Even so, that was the largest rain event here since October 14th...13 weeks ago! These reports from around my region were through 9:00am Monday so they are far from complete, especially north of HWY 30. Notice the dry slot that kept amounts down over SE Iowa from Ottumwa and Keokuk NE along the Mississippi to just south of Dubuque.

 

Where temperatures were cold enough this was a real snowmaker! Blizzard conditions were confirmed from NW Iowa into SE Minnesota.  Up to a foot of snow fell in Iowa but SE Minnesota really took a pounding. Near Owatonna, south of Minneapolis 14-17" totals were common. You can see a few reports below through early Monday evening.

Another fascinating element of the storm were temperatures. Highs up to Cedar Rapids and off to the east (roughly HWY 30 south) managed to climb well into the 50s....as expected. Just north of that line a sharp cut-off kept temperature in the 30s from northern Iowa into southern Wisconsin. A very tight and impressive gradient. At 1:00pm you can see the range in temperatures from 50 to 60 in the yellow shaded areas to the 20s in NW Iowa.

While readings will cool down a bit the next couple of days above normal temperatures will again return by the end of the week. Both the GFS and EURO have 50 degree highs into much of my area Friday.

Temperature departures the next 5 days at 5,000 ft look like this on the GEFS ensembles. 

I do suggest you enjoy the warmth as it's not real long for the Midwest. There are plenty of long term teleconnections that suggest much cold weather will return in early February. We'll discuss that in future posts. However, to prove my point here is the temperature departures the GEFS forecasts February 7th. That looks unpleasant to me.  

Meanwhile, the weather looks quiet and on the mild side through the weekend. Enjoy and roll weather...TS

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