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A COLD MOON ARISING...

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I SEE A COLD MOON ARISING...

Make no mistake about it, the first half of the weekend will not be for the faint of heart. Snow that fell overnight Thursday is ending after totals of 1–3 inches. Behind it, one more blast of bitter cold will replace it, thanks to a fresh surge of Arctic air pouring in from the north. BOTTOM LINE, the weekend may be quiet, but it will be far from comfortable with blustery cold conditions under a cold moon rising.


As for snow, Thursday night's clipper seemed to falter and turn SE as it approached eastern Iowa. After dumping nearly 5 inches of snow on central Iowa, amounts began to taper off as the system reached my area, resulting in lower amounts locally than anticipated, especially northeast of the Quad Cities. Ironically, no model saw that happening after exhibiting consistent totals of 2–3 inches area wide just a few hours before the snow began. A forecaster's worst nightmare. These are the snow reports from the Iowa Mesonet at 2:50am. These are not final, but I suspect they are representative of the trends.

Friday's issues will not be from falling snow. Instead, it will be tied to gusty winds and some blowing snow (especially in open areas). Wind chills will also be a factor as they increase to 25-30 below zero Saturday and Sunday morning. Below, you can see wind chills hovering near 30 below Sunday morning.

In advance of that, the NWS has issued a wind chill advisory Friday morning for most of my counties along and west of the Mississippi.

This chart produced by the NWS shows wind chills for specific cities at various times throughout the weekend.


THE TIMES, THEY ARE A CHANGING...

For several days, the long range forecast has been geared towards moderating temperatures next week. The Climate Prediction Center shows the dramatic changes expected with well above normal readings in the 6-10 day outlook covering January 24-28.

The moderation is brought about by a realignment of the 500mb jet stream flow that allows a southwesterly component to the storm track. That allows mild air, and eventually moisture, to get a foothold over the Midwest.

By next Tuesday, water vapor increases to 2.5 times what is typical for January.

With energy entering the Midwest by way of the SW flow, the available moisture can be tapped, leading to a chance of rain, snow, or some sort of mix towards next Tuesday as shown on the GFS.

This is interesting since 500mb heights are far higher than typical levels for wintry precipitation. Rain typically would be the expected form of precipitation. However, the deep snow cover produces a feed-back that is strong enough for at least the GFS to get snow or a wintry mix going in the NW half of my region. The EURO has also trended towards the GFS solution of snow, or at least a mix in my NW counties with Tuesday's disturbance. It's too early to know how this all works out, other than to say next Tuesday looks interesting and will be a focus going forward.


With that, gear up for another frosty day Friday filled with harsh wind chills. Roll weather...TS P.S. please consider a donation to the site's fund-raiser. It would be greatly appreciated. CLICK HERE TO HELP

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