WHAT A STORM, WHAT A CHANGE TO COME...
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To the weather...It's only Monday night but the watches are already flying for what could be the second historic snowstorm of the fall in the U.S. (and its only October 7th)! This one will spare my area the heavy wet snow but it will bring plenty of wind, cold air, and perhaps a few flurries late Friday night or Saturday. A freeze is also possible. The blue areas represent winter storm watches and those will get expanded to the east in coming days.
Here's the system to watch at 500mb. That bowling ball represents the energy that will bring a wide variety of weather in the coming days. That would be impressive in January let along early October. The loop is about 7 days worth of time and you can watch the progression of the upper low as it spins across the upper Midwest, Great Lakes, and finally into Canada. Classic.
Right now the satellite doesn't look all that healthy as the jet max and its energy is still well off the Pacific NW coast. This will change plenty and look dramatically different by midweek.
To give you an idea what's on the table and why this could be historic for our friends to the NW, take a look at these snowfall forecasts. These are ensembles so they are an average of many members. Personally I think the EURO EPS with its 51 members will come out the winner. Usually the intensity of these types of systems pulls the track further NW. Right now the GEFS and Canadian don't see that and have the heavier snow further east and south. Not buying that.
The EURO EPS
Holy cow, some huge numbers! Up to 35" on the EURO. I doubt if they get anywhere close to that as the ratio is shown at 10:1 and it should be closer to 6:1 with temperatures so marginal, Even so, many places would be in line for 12-18 inches. Just look at the wind gusts the EURO shows...60-61 mph. Even here we'll go well over 40 mph.
Thanks to the winds near blizzard conditions are likely in parts of North Dakota where the heavy wet snow and strong winds could cause major issues for power lines and trees still with leaves. I don't wish problems for anybody but I am very excited to see this caliber of storm so early and close to the homeland.
Speaking of that, back here the southerly flow ahead of the deepening storm will start tapping moisture once again. Precipitable water vapor gets well over an inch by Friday morning.
As it stands now rain should hold off until Thursday when forcing finally takes hold in a serious way. It will fall into Friday as the powerful cold front approaches from the west. It certainly appears that amounts of 1/2 to as much as an inch are in the cards. The EURO has this.
The Weather Prediction Center has this through the duration of the storm.
Once the cold front passes Friday a strong dry slot will shut down the rain, bring in the winds and drop the temperatures. Look at PWATS in the cold dry air Saturday night. Wow, is that thing wound up and pinching off any moisture. An amazing circulation and look at how sharply defined the cold front is out east!
And what a cold front it will be. Look at the temperatures on the warm side of the front Thursday evening.
24 hours later this is what we have behind it. 64 to 34 in Cedar Rapids.
By then the winds will be howling out of the west northwest and here's what it will feel like. Ouch, wind chills in the low 20s.