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Yes Virginia, that was rain we saw on the radar Monday. I actually walked out in it just to make sure it was real, which I felt was reasonable since parts of my area had gone a full 24 days since their last measurable precipitation. That is really hard to do. Just as remarkable is how widespread the dry weather has been. The graphic below certainly tells the tale of just how moisture starved the central U.S. has been. Pardon the interruption!

Not only that, this is the 5th or 6th time since May that many of us have experienced a 7-21 day stretch without rain. As one would expect, that has led to some big rainfall departures since the start of the growing season. Here they are in living color.

The system causing the showers is still lifting NE on a track that takes the surface low to northern Indiana by late Afternoon. In doing so, northerly winds are slowly tapping colder air aloft. That's problematic in the sense models try to cool the profile enough to mix or even change the rain to snow showers for a time late Monday night and early Tuesday. While chances of any snow are higher further north, there is a possibility near and north of HWY 20 (into NE Iowa and SW Wisconsin) that some snow could be seen early Tuesday. Little if any accumulation is likely. The worst case scenario would be a dusting on grassy and elevated surfaces up north, and that appears unlikely. Here's what models are suggesting. Two show light snow accumulations in my far northern counties, two keep it just out of the area.


The 3k NAM



Whatever happens, it won't amount to much, and then we're back to dry weather the remainder of Thanksgiving week as well as Saturday. Temperatures look to start near normal this week before a cold front drops readings later Thanksgiving Day and the remainder of the holiday weekend. Highs will go from the 40s to the 30s. The EURO meteogram shows this for the Quad Cities.

Models do hint at another trough digging into the Midwest late in the weekend that could provide some snowflakes Saturday night or Sunday. Overall, the energy is broad and lacking moisture. Despite those negatives, there's enough lift to at least call for a chance of snow showers. If the trough can dig a bit and gain a bit more amplitude and moisture, some light accumulations are possible. I'm not optimistic that happens, but it's worth watching the next couple of days.

Here's what the set-up looks like at 500mb Saturday night. That slight split in the flow is the killer in regards to snow potential. If nothing else, it will deliver some chilly air.


One thing I really dislike about the pattern going into December is the persistence of W/NW flow. With moisture severely limited, that's a real detriment to precipitation. The latest weeklies of the EURO, which extend outward 46 days to January 5th, point to the mean storm track curling out of the Gulf right up the East Coast. That's a continuation of the pattern we have seen an over-abundance of going all the way back to spring. I am thinking the chances of a dry winter continue to grow the longer this goes on. Below are the precipitation departures depicted into early January.

These are the 30-day temperature departures on the EURO through Christmas. They are actually pretty close to normal, maybe a hair above. It leaves the door open for some major temperature fluctuations as NW flow disturbances come and go. The ups and downs will tend to average out in the end. I think it's a good fit for what's being shown for precipitation during that period.

It's a bit early to give up on winter yet, but I sure don't like the trends I'm seeing at this point in its evolution, especially the dryness. As one who enjoys snow, I'm very much hoping the tide turns (and fast). Roll weather...TS



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