This winter has been a wild one and the craziness continued Tuesday, especially in and around the Quad Cities. After an all-time record low of 33 below zero January 31st...an all-time January record 30" of snow at months end, an ice storm with thunder and lightning added to this winter's resume of extreme weather. The NWS video below shows the lightning and pouring rains that led to ice accumulations of up to 1/3". You can even here the thunder.
The icy thunderstorms contributed to penny size hail in Muscatine, Iowa. How bout that John Miller?
An ice coated car at the NWS office in NW Davenport.
Overall, just another day in paradise in what's become the winter of discontent around the Midwest.
The next system is already in the pipeline and is ready to make a move on the area Wednesday night and Thursday. Once again it will contain a wide variety of precipitation types before it departs on frigid blustery winds Thursday night. You can see the low pressure move out of Missouri on a track through Illinois in its way to Lake Michigan.
Typically this would be a perfect track for heavy snow in my area but once again a tongue of warmer air will sneak into the area ahead of the advancing low. This means my central and southern counties will likely see rain Wednesday night. A mix of sleet and freezing rain is possible near and north of HWY 20. This should keep problems limited in my area Wednesday night.
However, Thursday morning as the storm gets east into Illinois colder air is drawn into the circulation changing the rain to sleet, freezing rain, and finally snow from west to east. Strong gusty winds develop that will have temperatures plunging to near or below zero Thursday night.
How much freezing rain and snow falls is a very difficult call because of timing related issues but some ice accumulations are likely before the snow wraps in. Additionally, some snow accumulations are expected but they should be light (and like the ice accumulations) more confined to eastern Iowa than western Illinois. Here's some of the ice accumulation forecasts for late Wednesday night and Thursday.
The 3k NAM
These are the snowfall forecasts for Thursday.
The 3K NAM
Sharply colder air returns for Thursday night and Friday with wind chills well below zero.
By the way, the pattern is looking extremely favorable for snow in my area Sunday and again Tuesday. Beyond that, the storm track looks energetic and favorable for a stormy/snowy period going out 2-3 weeks. We are getting set to begin building our snowpack once again. For something to think about, here's the GFS 16 day snowfall forecast. Don't get hung up on the excessive amounts, all we're interested in here is the trend showing heavy snow and the location it falls. The precise totals come later. It will be interesting to see if this comes anywhere close to verifying. Most likely it's too heavy but this is the type of pattern that can do it!
That's a wrap on another hectic day in weatherworld. Have a fine hump-day and roll weather...TS