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Did you not love Tuesday? What an amazing start November. Highs in the 70s, full sunshine and little wind. That my friends was a keeper! And make no mistake about, we'll be riding high in the saddle the rest of this week. The upper air pattern is amplifying as energy floods the western United States carving out a significant trough that looks like this Thursday.

That coincides with a phase 6 MJO oscillation which links to warm temperatures in October and early November. See below.

The residual effects of phase 6 will be with us several more days as you can see by the 5 day average temperature departures ending this coming Sunday.

Wednesday and Thursday we remain high, dry, and toasty with highs both days in the low to mid 70s. However, winds will become a factor as a tightening pressure gradient cranks up 30 mph gusts out of the south. Sunshine should still be prevalent and that puts us in a situation where we could be within 3-4 degrees of records (both highs and record warm lows). It's going to be nice, very nice but breezy! If we are to see a record, Thursday is the day with the best chances. Here's the existing marks that we'll be chasing.


Burlington.......79, 1938

Moline.............78, 1938

Cedar Rapids. 77. 1938

Dubuque.........77, 1938


Moline............60, 1938

Dubuque........58, 1938


Burlington.......78, 1964

Moline.............77, 1938

Cedar Rapids. 75, 1964

Dubuque.........73, 2008


Moline.............58, 1975

Dubuque.........54, 1898

The SW flow aloft that brings the warmth also opens up the Gulf of Mexico allowing moisture to slowly but steadily increase. By Friday water vapor levels are projected to reach close to 1.50 inches.

Levels like that are up to 350 percent (3.5 times higher than normal). That's what you look for in a good rain event.

I would say based on the latest trends, that rain holds off until Friday morning before energy arriving from the SW sweeps across the region Friday and Saturday setting the stage for showers and possibly a few thunderstorms. Those chances will be enhanced by the lift from a slow moving cold front that nudges into the region Saturday. With deep moisture in place another needed and welcome rain is setting up with amounts possibly exceeding 2 inches in spots. Here is what models are suggesting for totals from the weekend system.



The National Model Blend


Following the rain, the MJO cycles into phase 7 which we have anticipated for some time. That is likely to mean temperatures turn considerably colder around November 12th. Ensembles of the EURO and GFS have shown inconsistency with the depth and amount of cold air as some members are considerably colder than their counterparts. Models are experiencing challenges discerning the impact of the energetic wave train entering the pattern and I think they are still trying to settle on a consistent solution.

My take is the western tough reloads early next week. After a modest cool down to seasonal levels Sunday through Tuesday, another potent system wraps up bringing another slug of mild air Wednesday with highs in the 60s, maybe 70 in spots. However, a strong cold front with the potential for showers and thunderstorms blows through Thursday. That is the one that now appears to be the straw that breaks the warmth's back bringing a sharp change to colder conditions.

Getting back to the MJO, (phase 7 which we will be well into next week), correlates to a significantly colder pattern for the central and upper Midwest.

Another important teleconnection that supports a colder regime is the EPO (eastern Pacific Oscillation) and its cousin the WPO. When they reach negative phases they foretell a strong potential for colder air with large highs building over Canada.

Notice the next few days the EPO is positive and we are warm. Starting Sunday it sinks into negative territory and down go temperatures, especially by the end of next week.

Here's the WPO, which has already entered a negative phase in advance of the EPO.

The GFS now depicts this for temperature departures in the period November 11-16th.The trend for colder weather in the long term has strong support and it's something I will be closely monitoring in further posts.

The GEFS ensemble actually shows this for snowfall from a system around November 13th-14th. I will believe it when I see it.

Last but not least, Leroy Lowden has finished his winter outlook which under high security was forwarded to me.

LeRoy Lowden is a groundhog from Lowden, Iowa. He traditionally makes his winter prediction before he heads off for hibernation. According to my crack climatologist Steve Gottschalk, he has completed his seasonal assessment of variables with his fellow groundhog friends. Additionally, he consulted with many Woolly Bears, Spiders, Rabbits and Squirrels as well as keenly observing hundreds of walnuts and acorns. Lastly, he talked to his secret source on such things, the Snowbirds. After carefully gathering all the data, Leroy has decided and he states, "it will be a colder winter with more snow then usual". Leroy, a man of few words also says, "stay warm and see you in February"!

That's all for now, enjoy the amazing day ahead and roll weather...TS

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