DECEMBER PACKING UP...
The sun was back out around the region Friday as Thursday's snow system spun off to the east. It was more of a sloppy inconvenience than anything else with only minor travel issues due to warm ground and air temperatures. (Ground temperatures at the 2.5 inch depth Friday were reported to be 35 degrees in Cedar County). The heaviest snow totals were found in EC Iowa into NW Illinois, with some as large as 5 inches. Lowden, Iowa reported 5.3, the Dubuque airport 5.1, with Galena and Mt. Vernon at 4 inches. The general range across my area was 1–3 inches.
Here's some individual plots.
With clouds parting, the visible satellite shows three different patches of snow cover from 3 different events encompassing a five-day period.
With only 2 days left in the month, December is packing up and departing on what appears to be a rather subdued mood. The only issue (and it's a minor one) could show itself Sunday morning when an upper air low crosses the Midwest. Most of the forcing will be found in the north, but some snow showers could make it as far south as I-80 Sunday. With marginal temperatures in play, accumulations will be light, if there are any at all. Here's what guidance is currently suggesting for totals. There is still some minor disagreement on the precise track with GFS further north.
The 12k NAM
The 3k NAM
Whatever snow falls in the north half, it will be followed up with a quick shot of wind and cold air New Year's night. By New Year's Day, the EURO shows lows down in the range of 20-25.
With wind chills as cold as 10 in my northern counties and teens elsewhere. 2024 will get off to a chilly but seasonal start.
Beyond New Year's Day, near to slightly above normal temperatures should prevail through January 9th. Additionally, the El Niño inspired "split flow" pattern aloft should keep the active precipitation producing branch of the jet well to our south. The end result is a relatively mild and dry pattern from January 1st to at least January 9th. After that, I look for a colder pattern, which could spin up a decent sized storm around January 10th. Whether it comes as rain or snow, any precipitation is likely to be followed by significantly colder temperatures in the period January 11-15th.
Meantime, today is Saturday and outside of some pockets of dense morning fog, the day should be a keeper with skies becoming partly cloudy and highs in the range of 35 north to 40 south. Pretty good conditions for the final hours of December! Roll weather...TS
MAJOR WINTER DEALS AT OUR LITTLE WHITE CHURCH IN GALENA
A HEAVENLY RETREAT
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