THE NEXT STORM UP...
A compact but intense band of snow shot through the northwest 2/3rd of my area Tuesday producing heavy snow that in a few spots was in the 9-12 range. Intense snowfall rates of more than 2" per hour were observed in convective bands that produced thundersnow and whiteout conditions. Here's some preliminary snowfall totals from the Iowa mesonet.
The heaviest snow, 5 to 12" was roughly north of a line that ran from Ottumwa to the Quad Cities and on to Sterling, Illinois. Totals of 9 or more inches were centered on a line from south of Omaha to Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City on to Mt. Carroll. That's a bit further south than most models projected as strong dynamics and evaporative cooling allowed the cold air to hang in a little longer and further south.
Wednesday will be a clean-up day as the storm moves off to the east. Clouds should break and with gusty west winds coming of the fresh snowpack temperatures will hold steady or even fall a few degrees as the day progresses. Thursday looks quiet and cold with temperatures holding in the 20s. New Year's Eve will be the calm before the next storm as partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the teens ring in the new year.
The next storm up comes in from the southwest Friday as another slug of energy ejects out of the mean trough centered over the southwest. You can see the cut-off low (upper air energy) in Texas Thursday night waiting for a kicker to send it northeast.
As the kicker digs southeast it rapidly sling shots our next storm into play New Years afternoon and evening. At 500mb a closed low is surging into WC Illinois.
The Weather Prediction Center in its 3 day depiction is already showing another swath of wintry weather heading for the area.
72 hours out the highest potential for heavier snow and ice accumulations is focused in Iowa as opposed to Illinois.
The EURO on New Years afternoon has a surface low approaching St. Louis. In much of Illinois where there is no snow cover thermal profiles are warm enough aloft for rain. From the Mississippi west freezing rain or snow is expected to create travel issues later in the day.
As the whole system kicks northeast, any rain or mixed precipitation will change to all snow before coming to an end. If temperatures were cold enough we would be looking at a solid 3-6" snow potential for most of my area. While some parts of Iowa may achieve those amounts there is quite a bit of doubt about precipitation type and to a lesser degree track. Plenty of time to get that resolved but as it stands now many areas, especially in Iowa are likely to see another round of wintry weather. Nothing like we just saw that is for sure.
Early in the game this is what the GFS and EURO show for potential snow accumulations. This is certainly subject to change in coming days.
Here's the freezing rain potential which certainly has the potential to be significant.
Well, that's where things stand for now. Tuesday's storm was quite a snow event for many of my white gold lovers back in Iowa and Illinois. For those of you lucky enough to get nailed, this one is for you! Roll weather...TS