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A SMALL BUMP IN THE ROAD...

NOW MORE THAN EVER I NEED YOUR HELP WITH OPERATING EXPENSES

THE FUTURE OF THE SITE DEPENDS ON YOU. 

Hi everyone, as you know, TSwails.com is a no-pay site; existing on voluntary subscriptions or personal donations. If you find value in the site, I'm asking kindly that you make the donation you feel is worthy. I'm suggesting $20.00, roughly a nickel a day. Less than 5% of my readers donate, so your gift is not only appreciated, it helps immensely. Your contribution, whatever you can swing, supports the content, infrastructure, and operational costs. Thanks for anything you can do.


LIVING THE DREAM...

It was so nice Thursday (and my car so filthy) from 3 months of winter's worst, that I decided to take the time and wash it. Two hours later she was spick and span, inside and out, and ready to get dirty again. During that time I counted 11 groups strolling the street enjoying the day, two with babies, three with dogs, a jogger, and a kid on a bicycle. I also waved at the patrolling local police officer, chatted with the mail lady, and learned a tremendous amount about a knee replacement from an 83-year-old who lived down the block. I had more conversations than I had in the previous two weeks, and caught up on most of the local gossip. The first signs of spring get people energized, according to Lloyd from across the way. I would have to agree.


It's hard to put into perspective just how mild temperatures have been recently. As a reminder, here are the February temperatures to date at the Quad City International Airport in Moline. Only 2 of the 22 days have seen below normal highs (and just barely). So far, the average temperature of nearly 51 degrees is on pace to make this the warmest February on record in Moline.

For even a little more perspective, if the 66 degree high in Moline Thursday had occurred in July, its equivalent would have been 102 degrees. In other words, that 66 was high end and in the top 99 percent of all February days!

If Moline hits 70 next Tuesday as some models indicate, that would be the equivalent of a 104 degree July day. It's also very close to the daily record high for February 27th of 71 set in 1976.


A NEW BALL OF WAX

Friday will be a significantly colder day with a twist. Things start decent enough with temperatures in the low to mid 30s, chilly but still well above normal. Highs should reach the mid 40s north to the Mid 50s south. However, by early afternoon, clouds should cover the region as a fast, but potent blast of cold air aloft surges in from the north. You can see the cold pocket well at 5,000 ft. (850mbs).

The leading edge of the cold provides focused lift, and the depth of the cold at 850 generates instability and steep lapse rates. Showers, should initially develop on the boundary and with evaporative cooling should go over to snow. Best chances are over the NE half of my area (say NE of the Quad Cities). The scattered precipitation kicks in late afternoon in the north and spreads to the south by early evening. This simulated radar on the HRRR shows the band surging SE around 5:00pm. The blue is snow.

There may be some squalls that produce intense but brief snowfall rates. A dusting, perhaps as much as 1/4 inch of snow is possible in some of the bands oriented NW to SE. The HRRR indicates this for possible snow totals.

Winds should also rev up as the boundary passes late day or early evening, potentially reaching 35-40 mph as momentum is transfered to the surface.

Temperatures will steadily fall late Friday into the overnight, reaching lows of 20-25 by Saturday morning. Wind chills in the teens are likely, especially across the north.

That leads to a crisp day Saturday, with highs generally holding in the upper 30s north to low 40s south. Sunday, the cold rapidly shifts east and a return flow of southerly winds pops highs back into the low to mid 50s to close out the weekend. Plenty of sunshine is anticipated both days.


RECORD WARMTH AND SPRING STORMS?

Early next week, a potent trough digs into the Rockies, enabling a strong SW flow. There is high confidence temperatures will be significantly above normal, with temperatures potentially 30 degrees above normal Tuesday the 27th, (more typical of mid-May than February). Here are the departures on the GFS.

The big question is do we see any strong thunderstorms with another potent cold front Tuesday? The key will be moisture and the timing of the front. That is very much in question at this time, but SPC sees enough confidence to issue a 15% outlook. Actually, it's impressive to see a day 6 (15% risk) in February, especially so far north.


Temperatures will take another healthy plunge next Tuesday night and Wednesday behind the trough and associated cold front. However, the cold looks progressive and we should get at least one more major warm-up the first week of March before what could be a more seasonally oriented pattern mid-March. The verdict is still out on that. Watch out for some late day snowflakes, and happy Friday! Roll weather...TS P.S. With my recent health issues, I very much need to reach my fund-raising goals, but we are getting close. To keep things as they are, I'm in humble need of your donation to the site more than ever. If you use it and find value in it, please consider a contribution. Thanks to you who have already helped the cause!


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