THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR...

The lights are up, the Christmas tunes have taken over the radio... and usually there's a ton of cold. Winter started early this year and we had a white Halloween and we're going to have a mild Christmas. Temperatures were well below normal as we ended October and started November. That's when we picked up about a third of our seasonal snowfall.

Here's a look at the snowfall so far this season:

And, in contrast, the snowfall we've had over the last 30 days...

Most of us have had just around an inch to four inches of snow in the Upper Midwest over the last month. That has to do with temperatures running above normal and a really calm pattern.

It's quite the contrast from about two months ago. My fellow meteorologist Brandon Marshall alerted me to the fact that both Halloween and Thanksgiving (both in low 30s) will be colder than Christmas... something that doesn't happen too often.

Let's talk about this mild pattern... first off, in the upper levels of the atmosphere the jet stream (storm track) is displaced WELL to the north for this time of year.

A big ridge has moved in overhead and, with the jet stream to the north, warm air has been able to build in. Because that storm track is so far to the north there are no systems coming in to disrupt the warm up.

The past week has been pretty dry and the next six days or so will also be dry...

During the peak of this warm up temperatures will be running 15 to 25 degrees above normal. Here's a look at the high temperatures Sunday:

Monday afternoon:

The pattern starts to break down some as we head through Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, meaning temperatures will start to cool down some. Temperatures will still be above normal, though.

Tuesday afternoon:

And then Christmas Day:

Terry's been talking about that cool down that will arrive in the days thereafter. We'll talk more about that in my next post. RK

IT'S NOT TOO LATE! YOU CAN STILL GIVE WEATHER SCHOOL FOR CHRISTMAS. IT'S SO SPECIAL, THE REINDEER GAVE IT TO SANTA THIS YEAR...

Christmas is almost here. Are you still looking for something special for that hard to buy for person? Maybe you just want to treat yourself for being on the nice list! Well, here's an idea that can "give" any weather enthusiast a lifetime of pleasure. It's called WEATHER SCHOOL. What a person experiences and learns here will open up the world of forecasting for years of enjoyment to come. As a little bonus, we will personalize an email to that special someone from TSwails himself along with a certificate to open or unwrap (below). Consider giving the gift of weather. Better hurry, only 4 desks still open. You can get all the details below. Merry Christmas!

TSwails.com is offering a very special and unique opportunity to learn first-hand the ins and outs of weather forecasting with one of the best meteorologists in the Midwest along with his team of expert meteorologists.

That’s right… You want to forecast right along with Terry Swails, well now you can. He’s teaching weather with TSwails newest program called WEATHER SCHOOL. The opening bell rings this January and you can be a member of the very first graduating class. The one-day forecasting seminar for weather enthusiasts will be held at his home in January. It’s not your typical run-of-the-mill school. There will be no tests, but Terry, Rebecca, and Nick will cram your head with so much knowledge, it’ll be spinning like a tornado before the day is over.

You want to know the essential online sites to use for models, radar, and the basic weather tools? DONE! You want to understand the structure of models and the role they play? DONE! You want to be able to construct forecasts from the ground up? DONE!

WEATHER SCHOOL will be presented in a seminar-type format where you'll have the ability to ask questions and dig deep. You’ll get the scoop on data acquisition, model analysis, severe weather, and actual forecasting from the big dog himself, T. Swails. With 43 years of experience and an uncanny ability to break the science down, you’ll open the door to forecasting like never before.

Along with the head master T. Swails himself, meteorologists Rebecca Kopelman and Nick Stewart of KGAN TV will be there to lend their knowledge and experience to the discussion. It will be fun, informative, and factual! This is the day for you to see, feel, and experience what it’s like to be in the hot seat of a meteorologist.

The seminar will be held January 25th and will last from noon until 5:00pm. We have limited seating and the cost is $99 dollars per person. A catered lunch will be provided. Again..not a lot of seats so reservations with a pre-payment are required. Sorry, no refunds. If there’s enough interest, a second session will be added in early February. To register or get additional information send an email to carolynswettstone@yahoo.com

GIVE THE GIFT OF WEATHER. This might be the perfect gift for that hard to buy for person this Christmas. Along with a WEATHER SCHOOL admittance voucher, TSwails will send a special holiday greeting to your weather enthusiast if you give the gift of weather with the TSwails touch!

WEATHER SCHOOL AGENDA:

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION