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Make no mistake about it, Halloween was a "dreadful" day around the region. Where I'm at in (Dubuque), snow showers fell all morning Tuesday. Although we only had a dusting, temperatures with a whistling wind struggled to climb above freezing. In Cedar Rapids, winds gusted to 45 mph producing wind chills as low as 16 degrees at mid-day. That's in stark reversal to last year when the Halloween high in the Quad Cities soared to 70 degrees.

One of the more remarkable aspects of the wintry blast was the fact just a week earlier, highs in eastern Iowa were at record breaking levels in the low 80s. Here's the October breakdown of temperatures in Cedar Rapids. You can certainly see the transitional nature of the month with temperatures going from a high of 91 the 1st to a low of 22 the 30th

The graphic below shows the history of Halloween highs in Cedar Rapids. The red line represents the 40 degree threshold. Going back to 1890, only a handful of days have had highs less that 40 (as was the case this year).

In the Quad Cities at the international airport in Moline, this years high of 37 is only one of 8 days in 149 years where Halloween highs remained in the 30s. The coldest was 34 in 2019. Dubuque posted a 36 degree high along with 0.1" in the snow department...the first measurable snow of the season.

The GOES Satellite image shows the energy that caused the commotion churning southeast towards Madison Tuesday.

At 500mb, the energy looked like this. That's a tight bundle of vorticity. It's also the core of the cold air that generated the wind, cold, and snow showers underneath its circulation.


Wednesday, the Halloween storm is well removed to the east leading to a more relaxed pressure gradient. That keeps winds much more reasonable out of the W/SW at 10-18. Despite the fact we will get some sunshine, plenty of cold air will make for a crisp start to November. Highs will only reach the upper 30s north to low 40s south after a start deep in the 20s. Look at these wind chills around daybreak in the low to mid teens. Who needs coffee to wake up with that!

Come Friday we are seeing some significant changes in the storm track that will bring us a much better brand of weather for the weekend. Note the 500mb jet stream pattern by Sunday. We've transitioned into a westerly flow aloft (zonal) which cuts off the connection to the cold air in Canada.

5 day temperature anomalies November 2-7th look like this. You can see the stratified look of the thermal profile with Pacific air streaming across the central U.S. The recent surge of polar air has retreated north of the Canadian border.

Temperatures will begin to moderate Thursday and by Friday 50s will have returned to the region. 60s could reach the far south Friday and spread to the rest of the region Sunday and Monday.

With the advent of the westerly flow aloft, moisture is likely to be limited and in general the forecast is dry through at least Saturday. The EURO extends the dry weather into Monday but the GFS with its storm track further south brings some rain in Saturday night with another chance Monday. I have my doubts about that with the zonal flow and potential limitations that brings regarding moisture. A little more time is necessary to resolve that part of the extended. If nothing else, temperatures will return to more seasonal levels over the next 48 hours. Roll weather...TS



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