STRONG WINTER STORM POSSIBLE...
A strong upper air disturbance is forecast to come out of the southwest this weekend and bring with it the possibility of a winter storm. Most models promote enough phasing for some significant wet snow that could be preceded by a mixture of rain, freezing rain, and sleet across the southeast half of the area.
The U.S. based GFS is the kindest of the models showing a less organized system and less wintry precipitation. The operational version of the GFS shows this for snowfall.
The operational EURO and 12K NAM are more phased, further north, and much snowier. They show a much different scenario and this for total snowfall.
The 12K NAM
The system is projected to be a very wet one by January standards, especially from SE Iowa and Missouri off to the east. The Euro shows some parts of the Midwest in the warm sector picking up 3-4" of rain, well above what the averages are for the entire month.
The bottom line today is that the majority of models suggest the possibility of heavy snow and wintry precipitation for much of my area. While it's too early to get cute with the details, amounts, and positioning, confidence is growing that a strong winter storm is likely in some part of the area, especially late Saturday and Saturday night. The most likely region is from near the Mississippi River west into eastern Iowa. It's quite possible that a winter storm watch could be issued Thursday by the NWS if the trends on the EURO and NAM continue. There are still many issues to resolve and there is still uncertainty on the details but confidence is growing on a wet and potentially snowy weekend storm. I will of course be watching the latest developments and will be sending fresh information as data continues to stream in. Roll weather...TS
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