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Record or near record cold covers much of my area early Tuesday. Widespread readings in the single digits to several degrees below zero are found. Wind chills have been running zero to 15 below since last night. Last year in Cedar Rapids we did not have a temperature colder than 5 degrees until January 19th. We've beaten that this year by more than 2 months. In fact, our coldest low the entire month of December 2018 was 6. More on the records later today when I get a complete list. We may also add more today with record cold highs possible.

This is what the EURO shows for highs this afternoon.

These are the temperature departures at noon. You can see many places 30-33 degrees below normal. At least there will be sunshine. Hey, it's the little things ya know!

The next order of business is a weak disturbance that will bring some light snow or flurries to the north late Wednesday, more likely Wednesday night. This clipper type system has limited moisture and all the saturation occurs to the north of the ill-defined low. This results in a narrow band of snow with amounts of 1-3" possible (maybe some isolated spots up to 4"). The issue once again is the track of the clipper and as you will see there are substantial differences in solutions. Lets take a look at Monday nights snow forecasts from the various models.

The GFS is the furthest south and would bring 1-3" of snow to the northern half of my area, mainly north of HWY 30). I seriously don't see this happening.

The 12k NAM shows this for totals. Most of the accumulations north of HWY 20.

The 3K NAM is well north of that in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The big dog, known as the EURO is more in the middle and until I see any reason to change it's my choice as the most likely solution. Its snow band is generally north of HWY 18 in NE Iowa and primarily focused on SE Minnesota and parts of southern Wisconsin. I buy it.

Once this moves out it opens the door for a pattern change that should allow some moderation in temperatures for the Midwest just in time for the weekend. For any measure of warming I do like the fact the EPO (eastern Pacific Oscillation) is shown going positive on both the ensembles of the GEFS AND EURO. That increases my confidence that we will see a more seasonal brand of weather.


A point of contention is the fact the EURO control (black dotted lines) show the EPO quickly returning to a negative phase and that would imply a warm-up limited in duration. That throws a wrench in how long the milder pattern holds with the GEFS staying positive and warmer through the end of November

Considering the MJO is shown passing through the colder phases of 7, 8, and 1 into late November, it makes sense that any warm-up would be tempered and more in line with what the EURO EPO indicates.

I will say this, there is a large spread in solutions and a fair amount of uncertainty in the pattern after this weekend. We should have a better idea later this week as to where the trends are headed.

That's where things stand Monday night. I'll have more on the Wednesday snow system later today but I think most of my area is spared. Roll weather and don't forget the big coat before you head out today....TS

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