HOW SWEET IT WAS...
I entitled yesterday's post for Thursday as "A Tropical Heatwave". Well, I was being a little loose with that but I have to tell you, for this time of year, that's about a close as you are going to get in the Midwest! What a day. New record highs were set or tied over my entire area! Burlington reached 66 degrees for a record besting the old mark of (65/1984), Dubuque hit 57 (54/2019), Moline soared to 67(65/1984), and Cedar Rapids tied its record of 60 (60/1984). Considering many places near and north of I-80 started the day with snow cover these readings are even more impressive considering the short days and low sun angle that limits potential warming. Whatever the case, it felt dang good considering last Thursday readings were 5-10 below zero. Most areas today were a solid 30 degrees warmer than what's typical.
Here's the 3:00pm observations. Look at the low 70s in Missouri. Wow, how the tide has turned.
As we all know, weather like this is not going to last long with January knocking on the door. And sure enough, a cold front is already steaming off to the east of the area. Winds are swinging in from the NW Friday and afternoon temperatures will only be in the low to mid 30s. If you do the math, that's roughly 28-30 degrees colder than what we experienced Thursday. As bad as that sounds, it's actually close to the seasonal norms.
For the most part the holiday weekend appears relatively quiet. The Midwest will reside far enough east of a developing storm to remain dry and cool Saturday. Highs should get back to the upper 30s to low 40s. Later New Year's Eve a bout of warm advection may kick up a few showers, especially NE of the Quad Cities. Most of these are likely to be found after Midnight and should not be problematic with temperatures just above the freezing mark. A slightly colder thermal profile could get a mix going for a time but amounts are expected to be light and the precipitation brief. Something to keep an eye on.
New Year's day we are back to dry conditions with little temperature change as highs remain in the low 40s. Not a bad way to start 2023.
STRONG STORM MONDAY NIGHT AND TUESDAY...
Early next week the focus turns to a significant storm with the potential to bring heavy rain and another burst of warm air. Confidence is high my area will be in the warm sector which keeps this a rain event, Maybe a bit of snow at the tail end of the system. Confidence is lower on the intensity and track of the system and that has big implications on temperature and rainfall amounts.
As I mentioned yesterday the EURO was further SE with the storm center and only gradually lifts it into eastern Iowa Monday night and Tuesday. The EURO's more southerly track, strong dynamics, and abundant moisture, sets my area up for a heavy rain event. Amounts well in excess of an inch are possible across much of the region. I think the EURO has the right idea. It indicates this for total precipitation Monday night into Wednesday.
The GFS with its faster more northwesterly solution creates a shorter duration precipitation event and a significant dry slot that splits the heavier precipitation NW and SE of my area. That's certainly on the table but I am leaning hard on the EURO solution and its heavier amounts. The GFS total precipitation for the same period is much lighter.
Eventually, colder air filters in behind the system which closes off an upper air low that only slowly drifts east of the region Thursday. That may bring a period of light snow to the region Wednesday night. Most models are buying the idea but it's a bit early to get into accumulations which would be minimal. Clearly, the heavier amounts will be to the NW. Here's what the EURO shows for snowfall. What's shown in my area comes Wednesday night.
With next weeks storm, both the EURO and GFS indicate another push of warm air Tuesday as the system shoots a tongue of warm air into the region. I do expect a large range in temperatures from NW to SE across my area with the EURO depicting highs like this next Tuesday.
Overall the GFS is not as warm as the EURO but it brings 50s much further west into my northern and western counties. A small change in track could really upend what eventually verifies and so we shall wait for further guidance to make a final call.
Even after the passage of the storm temperatures remain near to above normal in the long term. That will be the case until the MJO can get into colder phases after January 12th.
That is all I have for you today. Happy Friday and here's to the last couple days of 2022, hope the year was good to you and yours! Roll weather...TS