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Widespread accumulating snow along with a wintry mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain at times, will spread across the area from late Friday morning through Saturday morning. Snow accumulations of 2-6 inches are likely, along with ice accumulations of up to 1/4 of an inch. Warnings or advisories are in effect for the whole area.

The majority of the ice is expected to occur south of HWY 20, especially near and south of HWY 30 where the highest accumulations are anticipated. This is what the EURO has for ice amounts.

The ice and mixed precipitation cuts into snow totals across the south. Even so snow will fall there before transitioning to a mix of freezing rain or even all rain in the far south. From I-80 south snow totals look to be more in the range of 2 to perhaps 4", with the 3-4" amounts more common near I-80.

Across the northern half (HWY 30 north) more of the precipitation falls as snow and here 4-6" amounts are likely. If the EURO is right a few spots could hit the 7" mark, especially NW of a line from Guttenburg to the SW of Waterloo where snow duration and ratios are higher.

Strong winds gusting up to 30 mph Friday afternoon and evening along with falling snow will reduce visibility and and cause treacherous travel conditions. The winds will diminish significantly for a time overnight. Then an arctic front hits toward daybreak and up come the winds again. Gusts of 45 mph along with snow showers will cause some blowing snow. In those areas that do not see a glaze from sleet or freezing rain, significant drifting along with low visibility is possible, particularly in the open country.

These are the peak 10 meter wind gusts during the day Saturday. All of the Midwest very gusty 40-50 mph

Another big issue Saturday will be a surge of arctic air that races across the region behind a cold front. Temperatures that start near or a bit above freezing will rapidly fall and by evening are expected to be about 30 degrees colder. Wind chills will plunge into the range of 10-20 below. By Sunday even worse with some of my area looking a chills of 30 below.

These are the projected lows Sunday...sub-zero most areas.

Notice the 24 hour drop in temperature from Saturday morning to Sunday morning. As much as 45 degrees in spots! Going the wrong way there.

Now, on to the latest snowfall forecasts off the models. These are not the official forecasts (strictly raw data) but it shows you the range that exists even at this late juncture. This is also the data used to make the forecasts and issue the warnings. I have also posted the Kuchera snow totals which are based in snow ratios that are greater than 10:1, which more than half of this event will achieve. The traditional ratios of 10:1 yield amounts that at 1 to 1.5" lower.



The 12K NAM

The 3K NAM

The Canadian

Last but not least, the official NWS forecast. I think it is too high in the south, especially from I-80 south. For example, that 5" total in Washington could easily be 2-3". Same for Burlington which could be a good 2" lower. That's not a certainty but as of late Thursday night that is the trend.

Snow is expected to develop by mid-day and spread rapidly northeast before making the transition to mixed precipitation from south to north. Most of the heavier snow will be over with by evening in the south and mid to late evening in the north.

Not much to do now but get a last look at final data in the morning and let it all unfold. I'll be in it. Roll weather...TS

LAST THING, STILL 2 SPOTS AVAILABLE FOR WEATHER SCHOOL. A GREAT BUNCH OF FOLKS COMING ALONG WITH SOME TERRIFIC CASE STUDIES YOU WILL ENJOY, ESPECIALLY 2011, THE YEAR OF THE TORNADO. AN IN DEPTH LOOK AT THE SUPER OUTBREAK OF APRIL 27TH IN ALABAMA AND THE JOPLIN TORNADO WHICH TOOK THE LIVES OF 160. YOU WANT TO LEARN WEATHER, YOU WANT TO BE HERE. GET THE DETAILS BELOW... 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. Along with a WEATHER SCHOOL admittance voucher, TSwails will send a special 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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