After a warm and relatively snow free December around the Midwest, the tide turned and from January on 2019 has been cold and snowy over the Midwest. Here's the temperature departures since January 1st.
February's departure looks like this with only 2 days to go. Notice the warmth in the east and the intense cold over the northern Plains.
The contrast between the two air masses established a tight baroclinic boundary that numerous winter storms have traveled since early January. That's resulted in one of the snowiest February's on record in parts of Iowa and Minnesota. Below you can see that 30-50" of snow has come down this month from northern Iowa to NC Wisconsin.
These totals are 4 to 5 times more than what's typical during February.
Total precipitation has also way way above normal, especially through the SE half of my area where 3-4" of precipitation has been observed this month continuing a trend of very wet months going back to early fall.
At least for the time being, the stormy side of our weather is taking a break as a large expanse of Arctic high builds into the Midwest. Even though this is late season cold it will produce temperatures 25 to 35 degrees below normal. Here you can see the high building into Montana at 1051 mb Saturday. Its cold air running down a deep and expansive dome of snow pack up north.
By Tuesday the high is in complete control east of the Rockies producing near record.
Monday morning I'm projecting a low of 13 below in Cedar Rapids. That would be good for a record low. Temperatures 10-20 below should be widespread around my area.
Additionally for perspective, highs on Monday may be hard pressed to get above zero, especially north of I-80 where a significant snow cover exists. The coldest high temperature during the entire month of March in Cedar Rapids is 2 degrees. Right now I'm forecasting a high of 3. Yikes!
This is going to go on for awhile too. These are the temperature departures for the next 10 days.
So March gets off to a cold but quiet start in 2019. Then the pattern is likely to become active once more in about a week as the trough that's dominated the past 2 months returns to close out the winter. If the GFS is right, things are going to get snowy again around some part of the central Midwest March 7-15th.
OK, that's enough good news for one post. Keep grinding and as always, roll weather...TS