SO CLOSE I COULD SMELL IT....

November 27, 2018

Well, the big blizzard of 2018 did a number on southern Iowa and much of NW Illinois. The most snow reported was 17" in Oskaloosa, Iowa. The peak wind 50 mph. Although the storm pretty much did what I expected, it was a disappointment in one way. It missed me. The one guy who would have been thrilled beyond belief and I never even saw a flake. Boy does that hurt. 

 

To show you how how tight the cut was I put together this graphic. In Cedar Rapids you only have to go 25 miles SE to find 7.1" at the Iowa City airport. 65 to get 14" in De Witt. The flakes were so close I could smell them!

Here's a graphic from the NWS Quad Cities showing snow totals.

To give you an idea of the magnitude of the event consider this. The Quad Cities picked up 13.3" in 24 hours which easily makes it the snowiest November day in history. For the month, the total has reached 18.4" making it the snowiest November on record. There have been years that entire winters did not produce 18" of snow and we still have 25 days before the official start of it! Dang....

During the heart of the storm snowfall rates of 1-2" per hour were found in and around the Quad Cities for a 6 to 8 hour period. With the howling winds visibility was at times near zero and travel was severely impacted. My friend and lead chaser during my spring storm chasing tours (Kholby Martin) was forced into the storm where he was stranded in his vehicle. He nearly ran out of fuel. He has a snow plowing business in Galesburg, Illinois and was trying to assist a couple of his workers who were already stuck in the snow. He had this to say about his experience. (You can barely see his car in the picture below covered in drifts and blowing snow)!

 

The next system of consequence doesn't arrive until the weekend and already there is significant differences in how the storm is being handled by mid-range modeling. It does appear to be a wet system but the thermal profiles of both the EURO and GFS show rain as the dominate precipitation type in my area. There are some key differences in the 500mb jet stream flow that need to be resolved.

 

Here's the GFS. It has a more southerly track that's colder. It would imply rain or a rain snow mix changing to snow before ending.

The 7 day snowfall forecast of the GFS

 

The EURO has a deeper upper air low closed off well to the west. That's a much warmer solution that generates rain.

 

Here's its snowfall forecast. Far removed from my area.

I'm anticipating some NW trend on the GFS towards the EURO in coming days. More of a compromise solution. However, it's still very early and there's a lot of fantasy built into the models at this range. I'll be on it in the days to come. Roll weather...TS

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© 2019 Terry Swails