GETTING INTO THE TEETH OF WINTER...
A week before Christmas (Dec 17th) this was the view from my front porch in Portland, Maine after I finished shoveling 18" of fresh powder. It was a beautiful sight for a snow freak like me.
This is the same view one week later Christmas morning. The snow is all gone but a few left over piles from shoveling. Temperatures are in the mid 50s and a wind blown rain is falling. We experienced a full blown total chinook with much of the 18" base melting in 36 hours time. Here today gone tomorrow. I have never seen that much snow melt that fast in late December. Oh well!
Back in the Midwest, your weather has been cold but quiet and it should stay that way until a chance of some light snow or flurries Sunday afternoon or evening. The track of this little clipper favors the north with a dusting to perhaps 1/2 inch, especially HWY 30 north. Moisture is really lacking until the disturbance gets east of my area which really hurts it as a snow producer. The EURO shows this for totals but I think these may be generous and too far south.
Once this system departs another surge of cold air follows for Monday and Tuesday with highs dipping into the 20s. You can see below Tuesday's temperature departure readings are a couple degrees below normal.
Then the focus turns to a mid-week storm that promises to impact the entire Midwest with some form of inclement weather. The NWS depicts the potential impacts this way showing a 30-50 percent chance of "impactful" winter weather over my area. Just west the odds are higher in the range of 50-70 percent.
Currently models are showing a large range in the early snowfall guidance from minimal amounts on the GFS to a full fledged dump on the Canadian. The EURO is currently the middle ground solution. With such model variance we are still in a low confidence phase with regards to track and snow amounts. My early thoughts are that we are likely to start as snow Wednesday and then should transition to rain, especially in the central and south. The north stands the best chance of keeping snow the dominate precipitation type and thus is likely to see the highest accumulations (whatever that may be). To give you an idea of snowfall options on the table here's the latest model output. (None of this is reliable or a forecast, just raw guidance), however I would give the EURO solution the best chance of verifying at this early juncture.
The Canadian GEM
Of the three outlooks shown, all are consistent with their previous runs. At some point, a dominant solution will reveal itself as models converge on a single outcome. Until then, it's wait and see. Personally, I think the EURO has the right idea and I am hedging towards its camp. Stay tuned and by all means, roll weather...TS