INTERESTING TIMES INDEED....
The last time an inch of snow fell in Cedar Rapids was back on November 17th. That day 2.8" covered the ground. Since then no more than 1/2" has fallen in any given event and the seasonal total stands at 4.3". That's ranks near the 80th percentile for lowest totals at this point in the year. (Average is 11.21")
Compare that to what's happened 75 miles away as the crow flies in the Quad Cities. There, nearly 20" of snow has piled up which is nearly 9" above normal. Amazingly, most of that fell in November when 14" was measured in the big Thanksgiving weekend blizzard.
The big take away is that no matter how much snow has fallen in your area, snowflakes have been few and far between since November 25th. In fact, only 28% of the nation has an inch of snow on the ground which is far below normal. Here's the snow depths reported around the Midwest Thursday morning. Talk about bad sledding, that's anemic!
One of the biggest detriments to snow the past 6 weeks has been the lack of cold air. When storms have materialized, they've brought rain instead of snow. That's about to change as cold air and snow is going to make a big comeback in the next 4-6 weeks.
The snow that falls in my area is due to develop post midnight Friday night and continue into the day Saturday. Travel will become hazardous in light to moderate snow. Here's the latest snowfall forecasts which are in pretty good agreement lending high confidence to placement and amounts.
The 0Z GFS.
The )Z NAM
The 0Z 3K NAM
The 0Z GEM (Canadian)
The 0Z EURO
A regional perspective of the EURO.
Last but not least, the GFS continues to point to a potential Arctic outbreak around January 23-24th. The 500mb jet is delivering the motherload in a cross polar flow. Note where the polar vortex resides over Lake Superior.
Here's the associated anomalies.
Lows January 23rd
Wind chills January 23rd
Suffice it to say, the gun is loaded for a prolonged winter comeback. Interesting times indeed. Roll weather...TS