The next week around the Midwest promises to be one of high impact weather. From Arctic outbreaks, snow systems, to blowing and drifting snow, some sort of weather headline is likely to be in effect each of the next 9 days. Take a look at this statement issued by the NWS Quad Cities Wednesday afternoon. You don't see the word "historic" used very often!
In the NWS story board below you can see 5 significant events in 5 days.
The first order of business is a powerful Arctic front that races across the region Thursday. During the frontal passage some snow showers are likely along with a rapid increase in winds. By afternoon gusts to 40 mph are likely along with falling temperatures and plunging wind chills. A winter weather advisory is in effect for most of my area. Here's some of the gusts we're expecting.
Here's the expected wind chills.
A wind chill watch has been issued Thursday night and Friday for dangerously cold wind chills reaching 25-35 below in my local area. Frostbite is possible in 20-30 minutes without proper clothing.
Actual low temperatures Friday and Saturday morning are expected to drop into the range of 14 to 20 below over most of the area.
After a slight reprieve in the cold Monday, it returns with renewed vengeance Tuesday-Friday of next week. The EURO shows the worst of it centered around January 30-31st when the polar vortex dives into the Midwest. These are the forecast lows, many breaking all-time records for any month.
Relative to average the coldest air on the planet is centered over us. Some of these temperatures are shown as much as 50 degrees below normal. Dang!
This is the 10 day meteogram for Cedar Rapids. It has 7 of the next 10 days with lows below zero in here. It also shows 96 consecutive hours below zero with the coldest reading 29 below. (Just a quick note, new data now shows the lowest at 37 below in Cedar Rapids!) That would crush the all-time record of -29.
That brings me to the topic of snow. As you will see in this animation below, there are 3 systems with snow potential Friday-Monday. The first 2 are meager little clippers with some 1-2" potential. The 3rd is a much stronger disturbance Sunday night/Monday with the potential for heavy snow followed by wind and the extreme cold shown above. This one is going to be a real problem for somebody. The track as always will be critical and it may be a couple more days before that is clearly defined.
I can't stress enough we are entering a high impact period of weather that could cause some real hardship on all living creatures. I'll be taking it one day at a time with sharp focus on next Monday-Thursday. Roll weather...TS