In retrospect Sunday's blizzard in parts of Iowa, Missouri and Illinois was rare indeed. Up to 17" of snow and winds of 40-50 mph is tough to produce at any time of the year let alone November 25th.
Here's the area where official blizzard warnings were issued by various NWS offices.
In a 2016 paper published in the American Journal of Meteorology (JILL S. M. COLEMAN and ROBERT M. SCHWARTZ) examined trends and the potential for U.S. blizzards in geographical areas. They found going back to 1959 there were no occurrences of November blizzards in Missouri or Illinois. This was the first time in the 58 years of records a blizzard warning was issued for those states during November.
In any given year the odds of a blizzard in my area falls between 16.8 and 31.6 percent.
The most likely month for a blizzard was January, no surprise there. North Dakota is easily frequented the most.
Essentially a blizzard is a snowstorm on steroids. The term blizzard may be tossed around casually, but to officially qualify as a blizzard, a storm has to meet the following three criteria:
1. Sustained wind or frequent gusts of 35mph or greater.
2. Considerable falling and/or blowing snow reducing visibility to under a quarter mile.
3. These conditions have to continue for at least three consecutive hours!
The next significant Midwest storm is slated to make an impact this weekend. As cold as it is right now, with as much snow as there is on the ground down south, it's hard to believe this is going to be a rain maker. But for the majority of my area and the event that is the case.
As I indicated last night, there were key model differences with path and precipitation type. I expected the GFS to eventually capitulate to the EURO's projected track and it it certainly has tonight. From here on out this post is based entirely on the EURO which has been running roughshod over the U.S. mid- range models. Here's what it shows at the surface Saturday morning. A rich flow of moisture and heavy rain by December standards pushing into the region. Most likely preceded and accompanied by dense fog.
As the storm moves north it will eventually draw in enough cold air to change the rain to snow in northern Iowa and parts of southern Minnesota and Wisconsin. In my northernmost counties some wet accumulations are possible but i's obvious chances are greatest north of HWY 20. Maybe a last gasp changeover across the rest of my region as colder air wraps in at the tail end of the event Saturday night or Sunday morning.
Here's the total precipitation shown by the EURO. Many areas over around an inch.
A larger perspective of the Midwest.
The EURO's snowfall forecast.
A regional perspective.
Well, all I can say is I'm frustrated again. The white gold and I can't seem to get together. Painful to see another inch of moisture wasted in the form of rain, especially in December! It is what it is. Roll weather...TS