top of page
thumbnail_1 ts baner, future in your hands.png




Hi everyone, as you know, is a no-pay site; existing on voluntary subscriptions or personal donations. If you find value in the site, I'm asking kindly that you make the donation you feel is worthy. I'm suggesting $20.00, roughly a nickel a day. Less than 5% of my readers donate, so your gift is not only appreciated, it helps immensely. Your contribution, whatever you can swing, supports the content, infrastructure, and operational costs. Thanks for anything you can do.


Now and then the atmosphere aligns itself in such a way as to over-perform. By that, instead of generating above normal temperatures, it goes wild and attempts to reach levels never achieved before. That's the situation we find ourselves in the next two days thanks to an omega block of significant proportions. Take a look at the massive ridge centered over the Great Lakes that's pumping "rare air" in from the southwest.

Most locations will climb well above 50 Wednesday and Thursday with the potential for some spots Thursday to hit the low (to perhaps mid) 60s far south, when surface temperatures are expected to be at their warmest. That's a day we'll be firmly in the warm sector of a storm, with plenty of pre-frontal heating. The one thing that could set us back slightly would be clouds and some spotty showers, but mixing should be strong enough to off-set that. In fact, winds ahead of the front look a tad blustery, with gusts out of the southwest of 30-35 mph. That's the price you pay for record warmth in February. As you can see, the EURO shows 90-100% odds of highs greater than 50 Thursday. Norms are in the upper 20s to near 30.

The EURO also shows 30-40 percent odds of temperatures 30 degrees or more above normal in EC Iowa.

These are the existing high temperature records for February 7th and 8th. Again, in most spots, odds are highest we make our strongest run at records Thursday, February 8th.

February 7th:

Cedar Rapids 57/1987

Dubuque 51/1882

Moline 59/2009

Burlington 66/2009

February 8th:

Cedar Rapids 57, 1925

Dubuque 55, 1925

Moline 63, 1990

Burlington 66, 1990

Record warm lows are also possible the morning of the 8th with readings in the low to mid 40s expected.

With the mild air will come enough moisture for scattered showers and thunderstorms Thursday. Strong warm air advection may shoot a few showers through during the morning, and then some additional activity should be found with the frontal passage Thursday evening. Due to the fast movement, rain amounts should be light, despite some quick downpours in spots. The north is slightly favored for the more concentrated showers, closer to the best dynamics. Here's what models are indicating for rain totals Thursday and Thursday evening.



It's a bit of a long shot, but Thursday evening there is CAPE of 300 to 400 j/kg on the 3k NAM for some active evening storms, especially with some modest shear.

The K index which indicates thunderstorm potential is maxed out at 30 through the spine of the Mississippi at 8:00pm. Assuming we get the anticipated heating, there may be a short window for a few gusty downdrafts Overall, the severe weather threat is low unless we can get some surface based storms, which looks to be a tall order.

Finally, this brings us to the fork in the road I alluded to yesterday, which is what happens with temperatures going forward? Without a doubt, we are entering a cooling trend, but deterministic models do not see anything like I have been envisioning. In fact, the teleconnections I'm seeing have me scratching my head. Just look at this. It's the SOI (southern Oscillation index), which is formulated by rising or falling pressures between Darwin, Australia and Tahiti.

Three weeks ago pressures were low in Darwin and the SOI index spiked at +31. Today, the readings is at -41, which may be a record crash for February. The reason for the plunge is a significant rise in pressures in Darwin while off to the east in Tahiti they have tanked much lower.

This is occurring in a region of the tropical Pacific that ties in nicely with the MJO (Madden Julian Oscillation). When I see a crash like that I know the MJO is on the move and in this case collapsing as it heads into the colder phases associated with the late winter shift into the Western Hemisphere. Phase 7, where we are now and phase 8 where we are going, are not cold at this time of year (but at least 8 is near normal, which is far from mild). Then, the MJO is shown entering phase 1 and 2 late February into early March.

Those phases are clearly cold late February and early March.

My theory is that the worst of the cold air may be a couple of weeks out, and what we get between now and then is a far more moderate brand of cold. That would account for the more seasonal brand of chill shown in the deterministic models. I just have a hard time seeing such a dramatic reversal of the SOI not having significant implications on temperature. Here you can see the meteorgrams of three major models for the next 2 weeks. You can see a big drop in temperatures to seasonal levels and then a plateau.



The Canadian CMC

One thing I noted is how the last day of the Canadian showed another major drop to 17 degrees, the 22nd. Is that telling us we are entering Phase 1 of the MJO? A plunge from highs of 64 to 17 degrees is more of what I've been envisioning the past 2 weeks.

I also noted that the EURO extended control shows 17 inches of snow in the Quad Cities, most of it not coming until after the 24th of February.

The EURO does indicate a much colder nation February 21st with temperature departures that look like this.

What I'm showing makes sense. Toasty to start, a step-down to seasonal for roughly 10 days, then another plunge after that. This is a very challenging pattern that is somewhat unprecedented, with records and the strong Modoki El Nino (which begins to weaken rapidly in the next month). I'm winging it here but at least you can see, I've thought long and hard about the implications. Until next time, roll weather...TS Additionally with my recent health issues, I very much need to reach my fund-raising goals. To keep things as they are, I'm in humble need of your donation to the site more than ever. If you use it and find value in it, please consider a contribution. Thanks to you who have already helped the cause!

bottom of page