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Midwesterner's were treated to another wintry day Wednesday with all-around cold and up to an inch of snow in some spots. Considering the official start of winter is more than a month away, it's out of the gate early this year. Here's the snow totals from Wednesday's event.

A larger perspective of the upper Midwest.

These are 48 hour totals showing most of the region with 1-4 inch accumulations.

This is the larger perspective of 48 snow totals.

Early Wednesday snow covered 41 percent of the nation. 2 weeks ago (November 1st) only 0.3 percent of the nation had snow cover.

Last year on November 16th, only 10 percent of the country was snow covered.

With that snow on the ground, cold air masses arriving from Canada are not modified like they would be if the ground was bare. That means our next front that arrives Thursday will be nice and fresh with its cold air more typical of what we expect in late December or January. So unfortunately, we have that to look forward to.

The cold comes in two bursts, the first Thursday and the second a reinforcing shot that arrives Saturday. As for Thursday's front, the real chilly air holds off until afternoon. As such, highs should reach the range of 30-35 before beginning to sink in the afternoon. NW winds will also increase during the day and become a factor. The depth of the cold air will drive enough instability for scattered snow showers later in the day and into the evening. Some if these could be intense with brief heavy snow and gusty winds reducing visibility. These won't last long where they occur but a quick dusting to 1/2 inch is possible. The HRRR shows the banding associated with the snow showers and why they will be hit and miss in nature with only minimal accumulations.

Thursday night the cold deepens with lows hitting the mid to upper teens. With cold air advection still ongoing Friday temperatures will budge little keeping readings in the upper teens to low 20s all day. Gusty NW winds will drive wind chills into the single digits as well! Friday afternoons temperatures will end up close to 25 degrees below normal.

Saturday the next wave of cold arrives in the morning creating a very windy raw day. They may be a few snow flurries as well. Highs should hold in the low to mid 20s with wind chills of 5-10 degrees most of the day. Saturday night appears to be the peak of the cold with lows single digits north to around 10 in the south. Wind chills should dip below zero in the northern part of my area.

Sunday we close out the weekend with highs in the 30s as the core of the cold shifts off to the east. The moderation continues Monday with highs reaching the upper 30s to low 40s and Tuesday soaring to 45-50! The warming trend is tied to the EPO going positive and the MJO entering warmer phases, most notably phase 6. However, it quickly enters 7 implying a return to colder temperatures. Models are struggling a bit to get a handle on the evolving pattern and temperature trends but at this point the EURO meteogram shows readings like this in the Quad Cities the next 10 days. Notice the up and then the trend down at the end.

One thing that is of particular interest to me is what happens in December. I've been on the record since early October expecting a quick start to winter and a colder December than we have experienced in recent years. We may be heading that way if the MJO forecast of the GFS is on target. By following the green line below you can see the MJO is cycling into phase 7 by the start of December and appears to be on the way to 8. If indeed it moves into 8 that is a strong signal for cold. If the EPO returns to a negative phase like we are in now ( and I think that is on the table), we could very well open the door to some real cold in December at some point, especially if the AO (Arctic Oscillation) gets in line by going negative as well. Right now it's a bit early to call but trends are leaning in that direction, especially with the MJO. I will be watching!

That ends this post. Ride low, stay warm, and roll weather...TS


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