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In a holiday week dominated by warmth, there's more to come. A strong winter storm will spin up over western Iowa the next 24 hours sending warm and unseasonable mild air back into the central Midwest. The leading edge of the springlike air will be surging northward Saturday along a warm front. It will take most of the day to get past I-80 so a large temperature contrast is expected from north to south in my area. Here are the highs forecast on the GFS. towards evening, near 40 north to mid 50s far south.

As the storm and warm front continues progressing north Saturday night, so too does the warm air. Rising temperatures are likely with brisk south winds and by Sunday morning the GFS shows all of my area in the 50s with readings near 60 in southeast Iowa and WC Illinois.

As you can see temperatures like that are more than 35 degrees above normal.

Along with the warmth will come plenty of moisture as measured by the dew points that could reach the mid 50s all the way to HWY 30.

That will be the fuel for showers and thunderstorms that will develop Saturday and be around on an occasional basis until the cold front passes from west to east towards daybreak Sunday. Both the EURO and GFS show the potential for up to an inch of rain (at the very least 1/2").



The snowy side of the storm will be significant but far away from where it typically should be with the limited amount of cold air in place.

As is usually the case a storm of this scope will come to an end with wind and colder temperatures. That process gets underway Sunday afternoon with falling readings and by Monday much more seasonal conditions are expected with temperatures in the upper 20s to low 30s.

After this models are showing little agreement in the pattern but there are a couple disturbances that could bring precipitation (perhaps some snow). The first involves the northern half of my area (north of I-80) Monday night. It's nothing huge but perhaps an inch or two could fall, especially near and north of HWY 20. This is what the EURO has for snow potential Monday night.

The EURO shows another chance of snow towards the 5th or 6th. The GFS is showing little if anything regarding development with that system. Thus, confidence is low after New Years.

At any rate, there are lots of tentacles to the forecast and once we get through the weekend rain maker we'll dial in on what's to come. Roll weather...TS

A FEW WEATHER SCHOOL SPOTS STILL AVAILABLE... 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

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!



Purpose: To help weather enthusiasts understand the basics of forecasting and apply the knowledge and techniques learned to construct personal forecasts.


The essential on-line sites for models, observations, satellite and radar images, and general weather data.

Session 2: ANALYSIS:

Determining your objective goals. Short term, intermediate, or long-term. Understanding the process of analysis and its relationship to forecasting.

Model options and choices. What to use and when!

The GFS, EURO, NAM 3k, NAM 12K, Canadian, HRRR, MJO, ensembles, teleconnections, etc.

Locating, learning, and knowing what’s essential to make a reliable forecast.

The art and science of model interpretation: Using and understanding model output. Its called guidance for a reason!

Learn how to analyze key parameters such as:

Surface and upper air data

Vorticity and energy

Precipitation output

Wind and pressure


A simulation of the basic process using model output.

BREAK: A 25-30 minute recess to enjoy a catered lunch…


Thunderstorms, tornadoes, derechoes, and squall lines.

Soundings. What are they and why should I care?

Instability (CAPE) vs (CIN) Critical interaction involving moisture, heating, and forcing.

Uncovering the ingredients of a severe weather set-up.

TVS signatures. What to look for on radar.

Role of SPC vs NWS, and your local TV station regarding the warning process.

Simulated model driven forecast of a severe weather event/tornado outbreak


The key ingredients required for significant winter storm:

How to forecast the rain snow line.

How to forecast snow totals from QPF

Determining totals from snow ratios.

What to look for at the surface and at upper levels (500 and 850mb)

Model bias and determining the storm track

Simulated model driven forecast of a significant Midwest winter storm


An open period for attendees to ask questions regarding relevant topics or issues discussed during the day.


Some final words of inspiration from the events headliners

Once again, to reserve a spot or ask questions send an email to See you when the bell rings! Roll weather...T. Swails

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