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Some good old fashioned December chill has dominated the Midwest since the rain and snow of last weekend. Temperatures again Tuesday were stuck in the 20s with a brisk NW wind adding some collateral damage. Clouds were also prevalent as a storm that will pound the northeast with heavy snow passes to the south. You can see the sprawling system on Tuesday night's satellite imagery.

With the storms strong circulation it will continue to funnel cold air into the Midwest until is spins off the east coast Monday. At that time return flow kicks in with southerly winds and moderating temperatures for the end of the week. The waiting time is short and the reward certainly is sweeter. Meantime, here's the 500mb stream flow delivering the current cold air.

While its high and dry back home in Iowa, here in Portland, Maine I'm currently under a winter storm watch for the potential of 6 or more inches of snow. Places just SW could see up to 18 inches and boy would I like to get in on that! This is the winter storm severity index and many places are expecting major to even extreme impacts. I need that to get a little further northeast.

24 hours in advance of the storm much of the northeast has 90% odds of an inch or more of snow. I'll be sending back snow pictures if things go my way!

Getting back to the Midwest and the promise of warmer weather, here is the EURO meteogram showing temperature trends through Christmas. The period December 18-23rd is showing above normal readings with a 3 day run of 40s if the model is running true to form.

However, just before Christmas a big dump of cold air shows up with a high of only 9 in Cedar Rapids on the holiday itself. Clearly that would be the coldest air of the season so far (by a bunch) but I will need to see that trend a couple more days before I punch my ticket for that train. It certainly has merit and is on my radar.

With regards to storms and snow potential the next 9 days the overall trends are not what I would call bullish for much in the way of rain or snow. Here's what the GFS and EURO show for total precipitation through Christmas.



As for snow, the GFS, EURO, and Canadian GEM have this for the same period.



The Canadian GEM

So there you have it, better weather is in the cards starting Friday. perfect for getting in some late Christmas shopping. Speaking of that, here's some friendly advise.


The postal service is swamped and they say it is now too late to order and receive a copy of my new book, Derecho 911, Iowa's Inland Hurricane for Christmas. However, we have come up with a couple creative ways you can still give the book on the costliest thunderstorm in U.S. history as a gift without a book. All you need to do is click and make your order, Then, later this week we will prepare a festive card with a picture of the books cover, Carolyn and myself, and a greeting announcing that whomever (fill in the persons name) is a gift recipient of Derecho 911. Then you print it out, wrap it up, throw on a bow, and use it as a gift substitute until the book arrives.

On top of that, I will also make a broad based video message on YouTube wishing your loved one a merry Christmas with the announcement they are receiving a copy of Derecho 911. I'll send you the YouTube link which they can open and watch when the time comes, rather personal if a dare say so myself. Make it easy on yourself and order one up today, we only have 180 left! Thanks and happy holidays...TS


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