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Minute by minute, the clock is winding down on this fantastic stretch of fall weather. Fortunately for us, dry air kept cloud cover to a minimum Tuesday and for most it was another fine day with highs near or slightly above 60. Nothing to sneeze at in mid November. Temperatures will continue mild Wednesday as a major pattern change unfolds that brings, rain, wind, cold, and eventually snow. All in that order!

The storm that opens the door to wintery conditions seems to be behaving as scripted. An energetic short wave rolls in off the Pacific and eventually deepens into a potent 500mb closed low over Minnesota Thursday night. You can see the big old bowling ball carving out the trough that delivers the cold.

Wednesday as the surface low takes shape to the southwest we remain in the warm sector of the storm and should see highs mainly in the mid to upper 50s. Clouds will be the biggest detriment to highs being even warmer. As for rain, I could see a few showers in the afternoon but the air mass remains dry and the best forcing holds off until later Wednesday night. That's the period when rain chances peak ahead of the advancing cold front. However, it's fast movement and late night arrival limits instability and rain potential. The window for optimal dynamics is small and thus I expect rain amounts in my area will end up in the light to moderate category. The exception to that will be in my western counties in Iowa closer to the track of the surface low. Here some heavier amounts of up to an inch are possible. A sharp cut-off to the heavy rain band is expected. Here's the latest rainfall forecasts.



The Weather Prediction Center blend.

The rain shuts down Thursday morning from west to east as a strong cold front quickly swings across the region. We get into the dry slot during the morning and may see some sunshine before blustery west winds usher in much colder air and wrap around clouds in the afternoon. Temperatures should be fairly steady much of the day in the upper 40s NW to the low 50s SE.


Thursday night the potent 500mb low slowly inches across Minnesota before entering Wisconsin Friday. Colder air gets drawn into the system and spills into the region. Temperatures Thursday night will reach the low to mid 30s and hold pretty close to that Friday under strong cold air advection. Winds of 30 mph look likely.

Of more interest will be the cold unstable air aloft and enough vorticity to whip up snow showers. These appear to develop in the morning over the northwest before spreading southeast into the rest of the region during the afternoon. For the most part the snow showers should be light and brief with little if any accumulation. However, some of the stronger showers could produce a quick burst of snow capable of producing a dusting on grassy areas and elevated surfaces, especially north of I-80. These are the snow totals forecast by the EURO and GFS.



Friday night the snow showers quickly come to an end only to be followed by cold, cloudy, and blustery conditions that continue through the weekend. Highs both Saturday and Sunday will remain in the 30s.


Most models indicate the potential for some additional snow Saturday night associated with a clipper like system that streaks southeast in the upper level flow. Models are struggling quite a bit to get a handle on the strength and placement of the energy but there is evidence that a band of light snow will develop somewhere in my area later Saturday night. I could see a narrow band of 1-2" accumulations in some part of my area but where that would occur is impossible to pinpoint at this time. The northeast half is currently the most vulnerable spot if indeed it actually happens. It may be another day or so until data sampling is sufficient to get a handle on the situation so until then this is a low confidence outcome that will be closely monitored.

That's where I will leave it for now. Suffice it to say, the weather is going downhill fast after today. Thanks for your time and if you appreciate the site please consider a donation by clicking the link below. The future of TSwails is in your kind and caring hands. Roll weather...TS


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