BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES...
We are nearing what traditionally is the coldest time of the year here in the Midwest. If it's going to get frigid, statistically the next three weeks hold the best chances of it happening. It's no surprise then that a potent clipper will blast the central Midwest Wednesday with a harsh shot of wind driven cold that will have you dreaming of summer.
The culprit in all this is an Arctic front which is racing southeast and will be situated well south of the region by daybreak. Temperatures early Wednesday will begin in the single digits and teens where they will remain the rest of the day. The GFS shows this for readings around 8:00am.
A significant issue will be strong NW winds which could gust in the range of 35 to 45 MPH into early afternoon. Combined with the cold the wind will generate wind chills in the range of 5-15 below much of Wednesday and Wednesday night.
Additionally, the strong winds will blow the powdery snow cover that exists creating low visibility and slick spots on area roads. At times significant reductions in visibility are possible in the open country. New snow will be minimal, confined to flurries or fast moving snow squalls, especially in the north. Due to the potential of blowing snow and low wind chills the NWS has issued a winter weather advisory for most of the area through 6:00PM
Travelers headed north should be advised that blizzard warnings are in effect for parts of SE Minnesota all the way to the Iowa border where travel is highly discouraged Wednesday morning.
Winds will subside Thursday night and with clearing skies should allow temperatuess to drop well below zero, especially north of I-80 where lows are projected to reach 10-17 below on the EURO.
The cold lingers into Friday with highs only reaching the single digits north to the low teens south.
Some places are likely going to be as much as 30 degrees below normal Friday!
The chill retreats Saturday allowing temperatures to reach or even exceed freezing for a few hours. However, another strong cold front passes Saturday night sending readings back into the single digits for highs Sunday. Moisture will be limited with the front but there is a chance a few brief showers could attend the frontal passage Saturday night. Amounts should be quite light, generally under 1/10th of an inch.
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THE LONG RANGE PATTERN
Overall the long range pattern continues to look chilly with readings generally near to below normal through mid-January. The EURO has trended considerably colder today and it's 10 day departures January 9th-19th look like this.
The NW flow that brings the cold does not bring moisture or storms and the EURO ensemble controlindicates no appreciable snow for my area the next 15 days. Good grief!
That's all for now, bundle up and hold onto that hat...it's gonna be a cold winter day. Roll weather...TS
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