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WHAT GOES UP
A fairly dynamic storm system is traversing the upper Midwest. Ahead of it Tuesday, brisk SW winds sent temperatures soaring into the 70s for the 3rd consecutive day in most of my area. This continues October's trend of unseasonal warmth. Below are the daily average temperature departures for the Quad Cities this month. Only 2 of the 20 days have have experienced below normal readings and even they weren't below by much.
Here's some precise October departures showing most of my area 8 to 9.5 degrees above normal per day.
These are Tuesday's readings at 3:30 in the afternoon. While it's balmy here looks what's going on in the northern Plains where temperatures were 35-40 degrees colder with wind chills in the 20s.
Those frisky temperatures out in western Iowa were about 20 degrees colder than 24 hours earlier. As you probably surmised, that's what our future holds.
You can clearly see the cold front Tuesday evening arching from western Illinois into NW Arkansas. The wrap around clouds from western Iowa into South Dakota will spin across the region Thursday lending to mostly cloudy skies and much colder temperatures. Scattered showers are also possible in the morning, especially near and north of HWY 30. They look light.
With the clouds and brisk NW winds, highs Thursday will be hard pressed to get out of the low to mid 50s. At noon, the 3k NAM has readings right around 50 which is 20-25 degrees colder than 24 hours earlier. Wear a coat!
By the way, most of my area saw little (if any) in the way of rain from the system as it passed Wednesday. However, as you can see in the rainfall estimates below, several narrow bands of thunderstorms developed which produced a few brief downpours with 1/4 to 1/2" amounts. That was the exception as opposed to the rule.
This larger perspective shows the heavier rains off to the NW in the systems deformation band (cold sector).
Chilly weather is now with us through the weekend. In fact, highs the next 4 days will not get out of the 50s, perhaps even longer than that in my northern counties. Despite some periods of clouds, conditions look to remain dry after Thursday morning until Sunday and perhaps part of Monday when our next rainmaker arrives. Models are really struggling with the strength and evolution of the system but are now converging on a surface low passing through Missouri and Illinois. The EURO was the first to pick up on that trend 24 hours ago. That puts the region in the cold sector of the storm and with NE winds, rain, and chilly temperatures the end of the weekend and start of next week appears lame to put it lightly. Some significant rain totals are also looking more and more likely. Here's what the ensemble means of the GFS and operational EURO show for rain amounts Sunday through Monday.
Before I go, I thought this was rather interesting. Fun to look at anyway for those of you who like winter. It's the GEFS long range 500mb mean jet stream pattern for the 30 day period October 24 to November 24th. Such a set-up looks like fun and games to me! That's a cold and active looking pattern if it verifies (always that if). Look at that blocking over the top centered on Greenland (in the reds). That argues for a negative Arctic and North Atlantic oscillation which opens the door to cold air outbreaks with ridging over the west.
The model also indicates an especially cold period November 12-19th with 7 day average temperature anomalies of 13-19 below normal.
There's also snow on several occasions with the control indicating significant amounts in the upper Midwest and several inches in my area.