I've received numerous emails and texts about why there was a muddy film on cars after last nights rain? It's the direct result of the intense storm that's brought such powerful winds to much of the central U.S. The potent mid latitude cyclone was so powerful (with gusts of 60-70 mph) that it generated severe dust storms in New Mexico, west Texas, and even Mexico Wednesday. The resultant dust plume was swept into the low level jet and rapidly transported into the Midwest. You can see the dust plume below.
Here's another view of the dust signature (in yellow) early Wednesday.
This perspective shows the plume entering Iowa Wednesday night. It deposited a fine residue on cars and other exposed surfaces. Rain falling on the dust created the muddy film that many of you noticed on your vehicles Thursday morning.
Here's the end result (or dirty work) on a local car.
The storm is still swirling tonight although it is slowly weakening as it drifts through Minnesota. Below is a classic satellite image of the beast cutting across Iowa. Look at the moisture being transported into the system from the south, wrapping around the circulation center into a classic deformation zone which dumped 25 inches of snow in South Dakota.
Here's a photograph taken in Redfield, South Dakota.
This picture was taken near St. Cloud, Minnesota where travel was not recommended late Thursday due to whiteout conditions.
Rain was the preferred precipitation type around my area. Here are totals over the past 7 days ending Thursday morning.
At times the rain was blown horizontally with winds that gusted as high as 64 mph in Oelwein, Iowa. These are maximum winds gusts from around my viewing area.
With the storm pulling away rain and snow will be out of the picture the next couple of days. However, winds will remain an issue with gusts Friday staying in the 30-40 mph range. Blowing into high temperatures in the low to mid 40s, the weekend will certainly get off to a chilly start.
Saturday looks cool but calm. It will most certainly be the best day of the weekend. By Sunday another storm is already knocking on the door but its impacts are far from certain. If you believe the EURO it has the potential to be snowy in my eastern counties. Look at the amounts the EURO is depicting.
The GFS is lighter and further east with the snowband.
Needless to say each model is initializing data differently leading to the important differences. The EURO which has been very consistent on its solution since Monday did make a slight eastward shift closer to the GFS late Thursday. If it continues that trend the snow threat would be near and east of the Mississippi Sunday. With data becoming better sampled Friday we should have a pretty good handle on where this storm is heading. Happy Friday and roll weather....TS