PHIL SAYS SIX MORE WEEKS, I'M IN HIS CAMP WITH MORE SNOW AND A FRIGID BLOW...
LESS THAN 100 COPIES LEFT:
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PHIL AND HIS SHADOW...
In a snowstorm yesterday the fabled oracle of winter, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and the legend immediately declared...6 MORE WEEKS OF WINTER! My personal groundhog, Nimbus Robert Swails who looks like a dog (Okay he is one), also concurred. By the way, we had 7.5" of snow here which he loved as much as I did. He even slept in it for two hours. I personally draw the line there.
LOT'S OF WEATHER ON THE TABLE...
There is so much going on in the weather pattern right now that it's impossible to keep up. Overall, Wednesday should be a decent day on paper but there is a concern that areas of dense fog could reduce visibilities in parts of the area the first part of the day. It's hard to say how widespread this will be locally but warm air advection out west has already caused visibility of less that 2/10ths of a mile. Where the fog develops it could linger well into the morning.
Otherwise, Wednesday will see slightly warmer temperatures as most areas get into the upper 20s to low 30s. Wednesday night expect near steady or even rising temperatures out ahead of a strong cold front. That mild air with temperatures 30-35 will last until the front zips across the area early Thursday afternoon. At that time expect rapid changes and potential problems.
I'll throw an animation at you now which in a broad sense depicts what's going to happen. Watch as a low forms in Kansas, tracks to Missouri and rapidly intensifies as it rides the advancing Arctic cold front northeast into Illinois and Wisconsin.
That sparks a chain of events. First, showers are likely in advance of the front where the mild air resides. Then the front hits and winds switch to the N/NW and rapidly increase. These are the 10 meter winds gusts between noon and 6:00pm Thursday.
Temperatures at noon are near or a bit above freezing.
By 6:00 in the evening readings have plummeted at least 15 degrees into the teens.
Wind chill will be at or nearing zero.
If that's not bad enough, there is going to be a quick transition from rain to snow as the front passes. This is where some doubt enters the forecast. Overall, there is agreement that a low form and moves along the Arctic boundary (see the animation above). However, the precise location of the low, the forcing, and the amount of moisture will determine how long it snows and how much. The GFS has been steadily growing stronger on all the factors and drops a decent band of snow that impacts all but my far southern counties.
I'll show you the snowfall output but this is far from set-in stone and not a forecast. This is just the raw data that includes numerous models that a forecast will eventually be constructed from. This is what's known as guidance.