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LET THE SHOVELING BEGIN...

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THAT'S A WRAP FOR THIS WINTER STORM...

The winter storm that plastered parts of Iowa with up to a foot of snow has done it's damage and is now on the way to the east coast. In it's wake, much of my area picked up 1-7 inches of fresh powder that was blown around by winds gusting to 30 mph. As expected, the highest totals were west of the Mississippi closer to the core of the storm. Here's the reports I've received so far. There are holes on the analysis due to limited reports. Keep in mind totals are likely to end up heavier in SE Iowa when final reports are compiled early Saturday.

Here's another perspective of snow totals from the NWS. Again, these are incomplete as of the time of this posting.

By the way, we're getting close to the halfway point of the snow season and through 6PM Friday these are the seasonal totals to date. Amounts are below normal for many in the central Midwest but we have made significant strides the past 2-3 weeks to close in on normal levels. In that short 3 week time frame I've had close to 11 inches in my backyard going back to December 28th. Previous to that I was at 1/2" for the preceding 3 months. The northern tier of the nation has done very well which is typical of a moderate La Nina winter.

Saturday morning the clipper will be long gone but not forgotten. Over the next 3 days the storm heads for the gulf of Mexico and then sling shots up the east coast Monday.

Look at the trail of snow it leaves behind. Not bad for what was initially a benign clipper up in Canada.

Behind the storm temperatures are going to be cold the rest of the weekend, especially with fresh snow cover restricting incoming solar radiation. Wherever temperatures start Saturday morning (generally mid teens north to low 20s south) that's about where they will hold all day. Winds will gradually diminish but will remain strong enough to keep wind chills in the range of zero to 10 the balance of Saturday. Sunday sees highs in the upper teens to low 20s but with light winds wind chills will not be much of a factor.


ARCTIC AIR HEADS FOR THE MIDWEST

Monday remains cold too but Tuesday the 500mb flow flattens enough to allow the next clipper to pass well to the north. That induces a SW wind that brings quick temperature moderation. Highs may actually go a few degrees above freezing late in the day. You will want to enjoy the trend as Arctic air quickly finds a way back into the area behind the clipper mid to late week. Highs Wednesday and Thursday will hold in the single digits before climbing into the low teens Friday. Sub-zero lows are anticipated Thursday morning and at least for some, are again anticipated Friday.


Wind chills by Thursday morning should be in the range of 15 to 25 below zero. Ugh...

The remainder of the month the PNA (Pacific North America Oscillation), is forecast to remain positive and that is the recipe for the mean trough to centered over the eastern U.S. That implies northwest flow and the potential for plenty of cold air. The 5-15 day temperature departures for January 20-30th are impressively cold on the GFS.

With NW flow any storms and precipitation will be relegated to clipper type systems. These are typically moisture challenged and fast moving. However, if you can get one to track right they can lay down 1-3, perhaps 4 inch snow bands. Currently I don't see much in the next 6 or 7 days but signs are there the following week my region could be in play. For what it's worth, the GFS shows this for snowfall during the period January 20-30th.

With that in mind, I'm pretty well shot. These snow systems take a lot out of a man but I love them. Just wish I could get in the right spot for one of those real rippers! One of these days... Enjoy your weekend and roll weather...TS

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