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Before we get rolling today, I wanted to share this amazing statistic from the August 10th derecho. It turns out eight percent of all the lightning that occurred during 2020 was detected that day. The National Lightning Detection Network reports 185,298 in-cloud pulses, along with 27,387 cloud to ground strokes. Electrifying!

I will also take this opportunity to mention that I only have 57 copies left of my book on what is the most expensive thunderstorm in United States history (13 billion dollars in estimated damage). This will be the final printing. If you are interested in having the most authoritative account of this extreme event I would suggest you act now. Don't miss this opportunity to own the weather story of a generation. You can order yours at




*This book has been quite the talk with the Iowa State Library promoting it. I have never seen the State Library promote any books like this unless it was an award winner of particular interest to libraries. Hopefully your sales are through the roof!

Jolene Kronschnabel-Director of Hawkins Memorial Library, La Porte City, Iowa


The weather story Wednesday was again the thaw which continues around the region. Even with the passage of a cold front highs were back above freezing once again. However, you can see the impacts of the deep snow cover across Nebraska, Iowa, and northern Illinois. Here, highs were colder than places up north with less snow in the ground. Notice too temperatures in Texas were pushing 80 where snow, cold, and ice shut down much of that state last week.

This hi-res satellite imagery, (taken with fair skies over the central Midwest) shows all but the northwest tip of Iowa covered in snow. Still plenty of it over the rest of the state right on through northern Illinois.


Since we've all had a heaping helping of winter the last 5 weeks, I wanted to show you some numbers that are a sign of the times and what I consider food for thought. Both the EURO and GFS show highs reaching the 60s out beyond 10 days. They get there at slightly different times but just the same, there is a solid trend showing up. Take a look at the raw model output for highs and I'll expound on how real the potential is below.

The EURO March 8th

The GFS March 9th

First and foremost, to get this accomplished we are going to need an extended lead-up period where temperatures are above normal for 8-10 days to whittle away at the majority of the existing snow cover. The reflective nature of snow makes it a temperature killer and can take 10 degrees off the top of what bare ground would produce, especially in early March.

The EURO indicates that happening showing snow cover going from this today.

To this March 10th

Here's the above normal temperatures that destroy the snow pack. These are the departures from normal in 5 day increments. This runs us out to March 11th.

Day 0-5

Days 5-10

Days 10-15

Why I buy into the trends and could see a day in the 60s around March 8-10th, is tied to teleconnections. Starting with the MJO (Madden Julien Oscillation), see how it is forecast on both the EURO and GFS to roll through phase 7 and 8 the first 10 days of March.

During March those are both mild indicators as the phase correlations show below.

I also like the fact the AO, which was strongly negative during our cold snap, is forecast to flip to a strongly positive phase in March. That means Arctic intrusions are not likely arguing instead for air masses with Pacific influence.

However, for the AO to verify the EPO (eastern Pacific Oscillation) needs to be positive restricting ridge development over western Canada and the NW United States. As you can see. it's going that way becoming very positive, especially around that March 8-10th time frame.

All of these factors combined give me a heightened confidence level that not only will we be mild the next 2 weeks, we have a shot at highs in the 60s for at least a day. I humbly admit I have limited powers and can't guarantee such an outcome, but if I didn't think the odds were with me I wouldn't touch this with a 10 feet pole!


Does this mean winter is over? Heck no. I'll leave you with this little tidbit. If you look at the MJO daily plot above, you can see that on March 10th it's set to jump from phase 8 into phase 1. The logical progression from there would be a move into 2 and potentially phase 3. If that happens look at what those 3 phases bring with regards to temperatures in March. That's the holy grail of cold and the second half of the month would not be anything like the first half.

Well, that's my case and I'm sticking to it until I see otherwise. Meantime, Thursday should be another decent day although a few degrees cooler. Friday we get back into the 40s and by Friday night a a little rain snow mix is possible. It won't amount to much. That's out of the way by Saturday and skies will clear for what should be a pleasant weekend! Roll weather...TS


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