The writing is on the wall, snow is coming to the Midwest Saturday. Models are converging and are now in good agreement on the timing and track of a dynamic "winter storm" and its associated heavy precipitation band. Despite the lateness of the season very strong forcing in the 700 to 500 mb layers will cool the column sufficiently to produce a swath of heavy snow. A real trick in late April.
While I'm confident there will be a heavy band (perhaps accompanied by thunder and lighting) there is still some uncertainty on the exact location. Overall, the trends the past 24 hours have been to take the surface low a bit further south which increases the chances of my northernmost counties getting involved. The area near and north of HWY 20 is most vulnerable.
So far the National Weather Service has been reluctant to issue any advisories or watches but I suspect that will happen at some time Friday, possibly by daybreak as fresh data is ingested and analyzed.
The EURO has been doing a good job of staying ahead of the pack depicting the storms path. With most models now going its way I am leaning heavily on its solution. Here's what it shows for the position of the low Saturday at 100 pm on its way to Burlington, Iowa by evening.
The EURO has this for snow accumulations.
Here's a larger perspective of the EURO.
The hi-res U.S. models are in and they look similar. Both really dial in on NE Iowa. This is the 3k NAM
Total precipitation from the storm is fairly significant, especially north of the track where 1 to 1.5" totals look widespread. The EURO has this.
The 3k NAM
There's also going to be a wicked contrast in temperatures around the Midwest. Look at these readings Saturday afternoon.
With winds potentially reaching 40 mph, wind chills will be downright ugly. Here's what it should feel like. There's also the possibility of some tree damage and power outages where the heaviest snow falls due to the weight of the snow and the high winds.
By Sunday morning skies will clear and temperatures will tank, especially over the fresh snow cover. There's some single digit lows showing up in SE Minnesota, SW Wisconsin, and NE Iowa.
I'll tell you, after last weekends 84 degree high I thought we were over the hump as far as snow goes. So much for that wishful thought. Roll weather...TS