A potent upper air disturbance brought powerful winds and much colder temperatures to the Midwest Tuesday afternoon. Of note were the winds which in places approached speeds of 60 mph. Here's some of the gusts reported around my local area. The 57 mph gust in the Quad Cities meets severe thunderstorm criteria.
The winds have also had a chilling effect on temperatures. By early Wednesday wind chills of 5 to 15 below are expected, a huge change from highs that just a few days ago were in the 50s.
Now that cold air is back in its rightful winter place, the next disturbance to approach the central Midwest will have the opportunity to produce snow Friday night and Saturday. The system is still over the Pacific so it will take another 48 hours before there is high confidence on track, intensity, or totals. This image was taken Tuesday night as the storm approaches the west coast. An impressive satellite presentation.
The NAM shows a closed 500mb low Saturday morning over SC Iowa.
That's a stronger and further north solution than it (or other models) have been showing. If correct, that increases the chances for accumulating snows further north. Here's what the NAM has for snow through Saturday morning at 6:00am.
The latest GFS remains less amplified and further south than the NAM but still generates snow of a lighter nature. Here's what it shows for totals.
The EURO is also on board showing these amounts which are now more in line with what the NAM generates.
A regional perspective of the EURO.
The Canadian came in like this with its snow totals.
It's fair to say confidence is growing that accumulating snow is going to impact the southern half of the Midwest Friday night or Saturday. Barring any major changes, the heaviest amounts in my area appear to be near and south of HWY 20 where 1-5" amounts are consistently depicted by the early data. Remember, this is very preliminary and tweaks will be necessary in coming days. That's all for now. Roll weather...TS