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RECORD WARM FEBRUARY...

NOW MORE THAN EVER I NEED YOUR HELP WITH OPERATING EXPENSES

THE FUTURE OF THE SITE DEPENDS ON YOU. 

Hi everyone, as you know, TSwails.com is a no-pay site; existing on voluntary subscriptions or personal donations. If you find value in the site, I'm asking kindly that you make the donation you feel is worthy. I'm suggesting $20.00, roughly a nickel a day. Less than 5% of my readers donate, so your gift is not only appreciated, it helps immensely. Your contribution, whatever you can swing, supports the content, infrastructure, and operational costs. Thanks for anything you can do.


BUGS ON THE WINDSHIELD, A FLY ON THE TABLE...

I'm driving down a county highway minding my business when a moth splatters my windshield. I remark to my wife that it's a bit early for that. Then splat, there goes another. I sat down to write this blog at my desk and a fly lands on the table. I didn't invite him. Box elders, ladybugs, and a big fat spider have also been noted wandering around outside. To top it all off, a mole is tearing up my frost free yard. Ladies and gentlemen, this is not business as usual, and you don't have to look far to understand why. Here we are in the core of winter and the soil temperature at the 4-inch depth is projected by the GFS to be in the mid to upper 40s by late Thursday, maybe even 51 in far southeast Iowa!


Rest assured, if it's that warm 4 inches deep into the soil, the air temperature has been very warm for a considerable period of time. Sure enough, several places in Iowa are on their way to having the warmest February on record while many others, if they don't make it, will end up very close. Take a look at Cedar Rapids. Going into Thursday, the average temperature is currently at 37.83 F. With 7 days to go, that is more than a degree warmer than 1998 which currently holds the mark for all-time warmest at 37.48. Those brown lines on the graph after the 21st are what happened to temperatures the final 7 days of the month. Based on their combined trend, there is only a 14.4 percent chance Cedar Rapids goes on to break the record.

However, models are projecting the average temperature in Cedar Rapids to be at least 13 degrees above normal per day the remainder of the month. Winner, winner, chicken dinner. That would do it as far as all-time February warmth is concerned.

Moline is a bit behind 1882 in its quest for a record, with current chances at 3.3%. But the projected numbers if verified will get them and many other spots in position to challenge February records.

Below are the temperatures suggested by the EURO and GFS the remainder of the month. The 74 on the 27th (shown by the EURO) in Moline would set a daily record. The current mark is 71 set in 1976. The GFS is a bit cooler and a degree short at 70.


The EURO

The GFS

One thing you will notice is both the EURO and GFS indicate a short but noticeable cool-down Friday and Saturday before a robust warming trend Sunday-Tuesday. Dog gone it, we'll just have to put up with it. Anyway, the front responsible for the late week down turn, has caused some showers overnight as the cold front slips through. Even at this late hour, models are still not showing good consistency in amounts or placement. The convective allowing models (CAMs) such as the 3k NAM and HRRR don't show much. The GFS and EURO due have up to 1/3rd of an inch in the southern third of my area. They may be trying to initiate convection, which the CAMs are not. There is very little instability (CAPE) so I will side with the lighter amounts of the 3K NAM and HRRR noting the possibility of some higher totals if a thunderstorm can fire on the front. The area SE of the Quad Cities is clearly favored for anything worthwhile rain. Here's what models are suggesting by noon Thursday for rainfall.


The HRRR

The 3K NAM

The GFS

The EURO

If there are any showers, they should be out of the far SE by 9:00am Thursday. Clearing should spread in from the NW after some morning clouds. After that, mostly sunny skies are expected Saturday and Sunday.


It does appear that the pattern should become more active and conducive to precipitation starting in early March. I'm also anticipating a colder look by mid-March, but after what happened in February, that is a low confidence concept at this point. Something to watch after a long stretch of benign but generally winter free weather since January 21st. Watch out for all those bugs, moths, moles and flies. Until next time, roll weather...TS P.S. With my recent health issues, I very much need to reach my fund-raising goals, but we are getting close. To keep things as they are, I'm in humble need of your donation to the site more than ever. If you use it and find value in it, please consider a contribution. Thanks to you who have already helped the cause!

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