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We always talk about the impact a healthy snow cover makes on temperatures, especially on a night like Monday night when winds were light and high pressure was overhead. To make my point, here's the snow depths in place Monday night. From near or just north or I-80, 3-6 inches of snow covered my area.

With snow depths in SE Iowa and WC Illinois under an inch, lows held slightly above zero. You hit the snow cover north of I-80 and lows quickly plunged to 10-15 below. From Waterloo to Oelwein and on to Elkader they were off the charts in the range of 21 to 25 below. Dang, that's downright refreshing!

Almost all of the area from central Iowa and NW Illinois north experienced lows of 20 below or colder.

In the end, I would say the snow cover accounted for temperatures being 10-15 degrees colder in my northern counties than they would have been without it. You can really see the impacts in the temperature departures at 6:00am Tuesday morning. Most spots in the north with several inches of snow were about 30 degrees below normal as opposed to 15 below in the south. Kinda cool if you ask me.

The way things shake out the next few days are highly dependant on another polar front which zips through the region Thursday. Ahead of it W/SW winds will pop temperatures into the mid/upper 20s north to the mid 30s south. The break lasts most into Thursday too with similar readings. Thursday night another high pressure builds into the region allowing temparatures to plunge below zero again in the north. A brisk wind out of the north will send wind chills tumbling into the range of 10 below south to 20 below in the north. With the high pressure ridge still to the west Friday it looks to be another frigid day with snow covered areas remaining in the single digits. Mid to upper teens will be found in the south. With scant moisture to work with the front produces no snow and just a brief period of clouds.

Finally the high passes east Friday night setting the stage for a warm-up and a pattern dominated by Pacific air masses much of the next 2 weeks. That will make a difference as you can see in the Quad City meteogram with highs going into the 40s (perhaps 50) a number of day starting Saturday.

Further north the warming won't be quite so dramatic but will still be significant all the way to Dubuque and HWY 20. The snow cover that exists today will take a big hit next week.

Here's the temperature departures the next 7 days. (Week 1 ending February 7th.)

The departures for week 2, February 8th-15th.

At least into Monday of next week, the pattern is high and dry, void of rain or snow. Here's what the EURO indicates for total precipiation through noon Monday.

The GFS in total agreement for the same period.

Things are likely to turn more active beyond Monday. Both the GFS and EURO show a system with snow around Valentine's Day. That's a long way away and I suspect cold air will be limited. My early guess is the snow will end up further NW with rain more likely than snow. Again its early, nothing is set in stone.



That's the long and short of it for a Tuesday night. Happy February, the last month of meteorolgical winter. Let's all make it a good one. Roll weather....TS


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