I don't need to tell you that winter's come back. But let's talk about where we've been. The entire Midwest was above normal for much of December. Cedar Rapids is checking in around six degrees ABOVE normal for the whole month, so far.
Cedar Rapids also ended up with five 50 degree days - two more than what we had in the whole month of December! And, as a result of all the mild air, there has been little snow (prior to last week's blizzard).
Much of the Midwest is running behind on snowfall for the season. In fact, parts of my local area had it's first measurable snowfall in THREE weeks on Friday! Now colder air has moved in for the time being and winter is making a little comeback. Temperatures are going to be near and below normal the next few days.
Sunday's high temperatures:
And then New Years Day, after the ball drops.. the bottom drops out:
Before that shot of cold air comes in Tuesday, there will be a system that will bring a wintry mix and snow to the Midwest. As Terry said in his last post, this one will likely be forecast down to the wire. Here's the latest sweep of models with snowfall totals through Monday night...
The 3km NAM:
Right now the GFS is the odd man out, but at least is showing minor accumulations in eastern Iowa with the system picking up a little steam as it heads into Illinois. The amount of snow with this one will depend on how fast the cold air gets pulled in and the transition from rain to snow.
After the shot of cold air Tuesday, a ridge will start to build back in and send temperatures back above normal. Here's the Climate Prediction Center's outlook for January 4-8:
Temperatures likely won't be as mild as they were in December, but the cold doesn't seem to stick just yet either...