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Greetings from University Hospital in Iowa City. I'm piecing together this post between nurses, doctors and my mom's surgery to remover a cancerous tumor. After 5.5 hours she is out of the O.R. and in recovery. Things went as planned and I hope to get her home later Tuesday, Wednesday at the latest. As always, my goal is to keep you in the weather loop within the constraints of family, which in times such as this is an obvious priority. That said, the weather is a distraction that gives my life comfort and order. So when I know her needs are met and all I can do is watch the clock on the hospital wall tic, my time is best spent doing what I do best, weather. It's a balancing act, and I thank you all in advance for understanding my situation with the knowledge my focus is split between two of my great loves, my mother and weather.


Get your scoreboards out, the thermometer is going to be up down and all around the the next week. The Midwest is entering into an active pattern that will be dominated by significant temperature swings as multiple weather systems sweep the country.

Despite the regularity of storms, the primary storm tracks look to be split. The end result will be minimal precipitation in my forecast area, especially compared to areas north or south. Here's what guidance is suggesting for precipitation totals the next 10 days.



The national model blend

Some of the precipitation that falls in the upper Midwest will come in the form of snow, but at this time most of the significant accumulations are just north of my area, perhaps some clipping my far northern counties. These are the 10 day snowfall projections.



The national model blend.

The first event on the docket comes Tuesday when low pressure passes through eastern Iowa. The track produces the best forcing NW of the surface low in the cold sector where snow falls from the NW third of Iowa into SE Minnesota. Elsewhere, moisture is sparse limiting precipitation to some spotty showers or drizzle. In the warm sector, my area enjoys another mild day with highs ranging from 50 north near 60 in the far south.

The party comes to an end fast late Tuesday afternoon with the passage of a strong cold front. Winds will rev up and some snow showers or flurries will spin in from the northwest for a time Tuesday night. A dusting is possible NW of a line from Cedar Rapids to Galena.

The biggest impact from the system will be temperatures which crash into the upper teens to low 20s by Wednesday morning. Little if any rise is expected during the day with brisk NW winds and strong cold air advection. With readings in the 20s temperatures mid-day will be more the 20 degrees colder than 24 hours earlier.

Wind chills early will be around 5-10 degrees recovering slight to the 10-15 degree range in the afternoon. Not a nice day!

The chilly air's stay will be short lived as return flow ahead of the next system sends readings back into the low 50s to start the weekend Friday. Another front steamrolls the Midwest Saturday dropping temperatures once again. However, the track of the storm and limited moisture will mean little if any precipitation despite the strength of the cold front. Again, the primary effects of the storm will be wind and the sharp drop from highs in the 50s to the low 30s.

Readings go up again Monday before an even stronger front sweeps the Midwest next Tuesday. It means business potentially dropping highs into the teens next Wednesday. Some showers are likely with the system but once again, the primary impacts will be winds and backside cold.

By now, you get the picture. Up and downs will dominate our weather in this progressive late fall pattern. That's all I can do for you today. Roll weather...TS

P.S. stay away from the grilled cheese at the U of I cafeteria unless you see them making it before your eyes. Mine was cool, extra, extra crunchy (petrified), and left quite a bit to be desired. I still ate it though thanks to a diet dew that a hefty gulps softened her up with each and every bite!