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If the weather looks the same to you Thursday, it should. We've seen it before. Today will be the 3rd consecutive day for the "slopathon" we've entered. About the only real notable difference Thursday is a stronger upper air disturbance that will feature a more widespread rain shield that encompasses all the region. Amounts could also approach an inch in spots. If temperatures were a couple degrees colder, this would have been another major snow system with 5-10 inch amounts. (Can you imagine that)? As it is, nothing more than a cold rain is anticipated.

Some spotty showers could show up in the morning, but a bigger issue will be pockets of dense fog. A dense fog advisory is in effect for of all the area through noon Thursday. More of these are in are our future in coming days.

The main rain event itself holds off until late in the day, going into Thursday night. Here's what the surface depiction looks like at 6:00 p.m. Temperatures are mainly in the range of 34-36, with rain. Miserable!

Here's what models are suggesting for rain totals.




The 3k NAM

The 12k NAM

Once this round of energy departs, so too does the forcing for any additional precipitation later Friday through the weekend. In fact, we should get about a week's worth of quiet weather January 26th-February 4th while under the influence of high pressure. After that, the pattern reloads and realigns as the atmosphere moves to a stormier and colder look. Before the transition, these are the 7-day temperatures departures for the week of January 31st-February 7th. That is quite the reversal from where we were a few days ago.

You can see on the EURO meteogram those departures translate to highs in the low 50s to start February in the Quad Cities. Why not?

We have broken out of our recent deep freeze. Bad as it was, most locations only had 12-15 consecutive days with highs below freezing. That doesn't even crack the top when it comes to streaks like that

Back in 1936, Cedar Rapids went 39 consecutive days with highs not reaching 32. That lasted from January 15 to February 22nd. There were some happy campers when that stretch ended. My mother Rose (now in her 90s) remembers that 36 winter well. They slept with hot bricks and irons wrapped in blankets to put off heat under the covers. There was essentially no heat in the upstairs room of the farmhouse where she slept. Can you imagine that? She remembers riding in a bobsled to town for supplies. The snow was so deep and packed that the sled and horses drove right over the covered fences. They spent most of their time in the kitchen, near the heat put out by the pot-belly stove.

Below you can see the 12 days this year spent below freezing in Cedar Rapids.

Compare that to what my mom and others in the Midwest dealt with in 1936. When the siege of bitter weather hit her farm SW of Cedar Rapids January 18th, low temperatures (in yellow) went below zero in Cedar Rapids 24 consecutive nights. The streak broke with 2 nights slightly above zero February 12th and 13th, only to worsen again with another 9 day run of sub-zero lows. All told, 33 out of 35 nights were below zero, with 22 of them in the range of 10 to 25 below. That's beyond harsh!

A few years ago, I did a special report on the hardships created by both the winter and summer of 1936. You can watch it by clicking the link below.

At least for now, the trend in our winter is for warmer temperatures, although it will be damp, dreary, and foggy. I do think winter has plenty of fight left, and we will battle it again starting in mid-February. These are the 500mb heights on the EURO weeklies, February 13th. High pressure (in red) is again building from Alaska to Greenland. That reseeds Canada with cold that eventually works its way into the U.S. The jet becomes quite energetic and storms are shown emerging out of the SW undercutting the cold centered in southern Canada. That's a set-up for both cold and snow here in the mid-latitudes.

The ensembles of the weeklies show this for snow through March 10th. All of this comes after February 10th here in the central Midwest. Interesting eh!

That's if for this post. Until next time, roll weather...TS P.S. Please consider a donation to the site. The future of TSwails depends on your generous contributions. Thanks for anything you can do!


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