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A TROPICAL HEAT WAVE...


Just when you think winter is locked in, the latch is turned, the door is opened, and out she goes (for now). This new round of warming was initiated Wednesday by brisk south winds gusting to 30 mph. Even with snow cover most spots but the far north soared into 40s with some low 50s in my southernmost counties. Here's the 24 hour change in temperatures from Tuesday. Lots of the Midwest was 20-25 degrees warmer!

Thursday promises to be even warmer ahead of a cold front. Highs may exceed 60 in the far south where snow cover will be a thing of the past (A tropical heat wave by January standards). Upper 40s are expected in the north where snow depth is greater. Here's the projected highs on the EURO.

By the way, this was the reported snow depths around my region Wednesday morning. Much of what is showing in the far south, especially HWY34 south has now melted. A lot more snow will vanish in Thursday's warmth.

Here's a larger perspective of Midwest snow depths. Snowmobiling is very good in Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, and the U.P. of Michigan.

Weather issues will be minimal in my area through New Years day. About the only concern is the potential for some fog or drizzle with melting snow adding low level moisture and warm air aloft sweeping over the cold ground and snow cover. Chances for this are greatest in the north Thursday ahead of a warm front. Currently this is not expected to be a major issue with brisk winds limiting the depth of the fog. I should also mention there is a slight chance of a brief shower or sprinkle later Thursday afternoon in the far north near the warm front. Amounts will be very light if any at all.


Thursday night a cold front passes but aside from a few sprinkles it should generally be a dry frontal passage. However, colder air will bring temperatures down to more reasonable levels over the holiday weekend. Even so, we'll remain above normal by several degrees. Dry conditions will prevail with highs in the 30s Friday and upper 30s to low 40s New Years Eve and New Years day. At this point there could be some passing sunshine but overall skies are likely to end up mostly cloudy.


The next significant weather event is slated to arrive Monday night and could be with us into Wednesday of next week. Both the GFS and EURO are developing a healthy storm but differ significantly in its placement and evolution next week. For now, I like the EURO's idea of a more southerly development of the surface low due to the extent of the snow cover up north. That keeps the baroclinic boundary further south and I like the idea of cyclogenesis in the Texas panhandle. From there the low tracks NE into Kansas and eastern Iowa. The GFS forms the low in Colorado and takes it NE into Nebraska and Minnesota. Either way, my area is in the warm sector initially indicating this will be a rain event. With strong surface development, dynamics, and ample moisture this is likely to be a decent precipitation producer, especially by January standards. Here's what the EURO currently indicates for total precipitation.

The GFS has this for the same period.

With the track of the storm into Iowa the snowy side of the system remains to our northwest. The EURO suggests amounts like this, maybe a little bit on the tail end in my northern counties Wednesday.

The GFS is even further NW and weaker with the storm and ensuing snow amounts. A complete miss for snow.

With the EURO solution that I currently prefer, highs Tuesday would likely reach the 38-45 range in most areas with perhaps a 50 in the far south. The GFS should it be correct promotes robust warming and highs in the low 60s in all but my NW counties. Even there mid to upper 50s are shown. I doubt that.


Needless to say, some issues need to be worked out regarding track and intensity. With the event still 5 days away things are going to change, the question is which way and how significantly? More on that in coming days but it looks like a good rain is coming early next week.


With that I am calling it a post. Enjoy the warmth. I'm taking down the Christmas lights and might even wash the vehicle which is a salty mess. Roll weather...TS


A LAST MINUTE SPECIAL

Hey the weather looks good this New Years so why not spend it at the Little White Church in Galena, one of the most unique and romantic accommodations in the Midwest? Due to a last minute cancellation we are having a flash sale where the freshly renovated church is available for December 30th and 31st (New Year's Eve). There are 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, and 2 pull-out couches so plenty of room for friends, family, or both. This link has pictures and more information. https://www.tswails.com/galena-airbnb


We are offering the space for 2 nights at $700.00. That's a $300 discount off of our going rate. We can even sweeten the deal to 3 nights (the 29th-31st) for $900 which is a 600 dollar value.


It's a first come, first serve deal so pack the bags and take advantage of this unique last minute deal. Call or text Carolyn or Terry at 563-676-3320. The E-mail address is carolynswettstone@yahoo.com