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AND THE FUN BEGINS...

A fast moving but well organized winter storm is departing the region early Thursday. In its wake, rain and some snow fell overnight with some minor travel issues in my NW counties. The primary energy has now advanced northeast taking the heavier precipitation with it. A secondary lobe of forcing will cut across my southern counties Thursday morning (mainly I-80 south). It could produce a narrow band of minor accumulations ranging from a dusting up to an inch. Elsewhere, occasional light snow showers will be ending from west to east by early afternoon. Here's some preliminary snow reports late Wednesday evening. These will end up higher in the north by daybreak.


On the satellite Wednesday night you can see the classic structure of the storm with a dry slot surging into my area from the south. That kept precipitation relatively light in my area as compared to what has fallen further west where some heavy snow occured. Once again we came so close to a decent snow, but as they say, close only counts in grenades and horseshoes.

Despite brisk NW winds behind the system, temperatures don't cool that much Thursday but gradually diminish going from the mid 30s to the upper 20s north to the low to mid 30s south over the weekend.


There is another system I am watching for Saturday night and early Sunday. It's nothing major but should have enough moisture and dynamics to kick up some light snow that could accumulate 1-2 inches in the SE half of my area if current trends hold. At least for now, both the EURO and GFS are similar in the amounts and placement of the snow band. Here's what the two are suggesting for accumulations.


The EURO


The next issue I'm watching is the potential for a late month Arctic intrusion. As you all know, January has been good to us so far with temperatures in much of my area running about 10 degrees above normal. As of January 17th,

the majority of the corn belt was experiencing one of its warmest January's to date. From eastern Iowa to Michigan, most areas are in the top 5 warmest. In fact, Milwaukee is currently at number one status with the Quad Cities in at number three and Dubuque at number 5.

It will be tough to hold these positions if the cold that's indicated comes. By January 29th both the GFS and EURO show a vigorous vortex of polar origen dropping south towards the Great Lakes. You can readily see it in the 500mb representation of each model.


The EURO the 28th

The GFS is one day later with the peak of the cold on the 29th.

Here are the projected temperature departures on the EURO the morning of the 29th.

The departures on the GFS are displaced a bit further west 24 hours later but there is still an abundance of cold.

Even the Canadian sees it. Here's its global comparison to January so far (top), compared to what it shows January 27-February 3rd (Below). Note the flip from warm to cold over North America.

The Climate Prediction Center is also indicating this for cold January 26th-February 1st, meaning they see the trend as well. However, this could end up colder and centered further east if the worst case scenario develops.

Despite all of today's continuity, models have been on and off with the potential for Arctic air for several days and I still have concerns models will back off as we get closer to the surge. Again, the worst of the potential cold is still 8-10 days away which means confidence remains low to moderate. Until January 25th or 26th, any cooling will be gradual. But if and when the Arctic air comes late January, it will hit hard and fast. Here's hoping that doesn't happen. I'm done with it. Roll weather...TS


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