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SMASHING, THEN CRASHING

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.


HISTORIC DAY FOR TEMPERATURES, CAN WE HAVE ANOTHER?

An unusual set of circumstances produced historic temperatures around the region Monday. Personally, it's hard to know where to start with multiple records in a single day, so I'll start at the bottom and work myself to the top.


RECORD DAILY HIGHS FEBRUARY 26th

As you can see above, every reporting station in the area (basically the Midwest as a whole) experienced record highs for February 26th, all in the range of 72–76 degrees locally. Dubuque with its high of 72 smashed the previous maximum of 62 in 1896 by 10 degrees. Beating a 128-year-old record by 10 degrees is an astounding feat!


FEBRUARY RECORD WARMTH

Moving up the chain, every station but Burlington above set an all-time record for the month of February. Burlington was just 1 degree short of making it a unanimous sweep.


ALL-TIME WINTER WARMTH

All-time winter records encompass the period December-February and Monday delivered again in Moline, Cedar Rapids, and Dubuque with all-time winter warmth established in those cities. Burlington was left out by one degree with its reading of 75. However, they may not be denied as Thursday afternoon another opportunity exists for temperatures to reach that level or higher.


RECORD DAILY HIGHS TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 27th.

Warm air will remain in place much of Tuesday, allowing temperatures enough time to warm to record daily levels for the date. If all goes as planned, highs should range from the low 70s north to near 80 south. Not only will that crush daily marks, it may even build on the all-time February and winter warmth records set Monday. These are the daily records in jeopardy of falling Tuesday.


CEDAR RAPIDS....64, 2018

BURLINGTON........72, 1976

MOLINE.................71, 1976

DUBUQUE..............62, 1896


A MAJOR COLD FRONT BRINGS A BIG DOSE OF REALITY

That leads us to another fork in the road, which is a powerful cold front due to spread southeast through the region later in the afternoon. While the heating is there for thunderstorms, instability appears to be lacking for storms in all but the far southeast, especially south and east of the Quad Cities. The 3K NAM shows CAPE reaching 2,000 j/kg in parts of WC Illinois between 5 and 6:00pm. That's impressive for February.

By 8:00pm, the supercell composite index which measures the potential for rotating storms is a robust 11 just to my east ahead of the cold front.

The significant tornado parameter has blossomed as well in the same general area.

One element that is lacking is moisture, which does not intercept the instability until the front is largely past the Mississippi. That and a CAP keeps things quiet until 4 or 5 in the afternoon. Then, several models pop thunderstorms just SE of the Quad Cities, where they track northeast. At that time there may be a short window over my SE counties for isolated severe thunderstorms, that is if they can crack the cap soon enough. Central and eastern Illinois looks more favored. For now, SPC has my far SE counties indicated in a slight risk outlook for severe storms towards evening.


BACK TO WINTER FOR A SHORT TIME...

Again, the thunderstorm window will be brief and mainly confined to the area east of the Mississippi. Behind the cold front, a dramatic temperature fall is anticipated. At 2:00pm Tuesday afternoon, the HRRR shows record-breaking temperatures such as this.

Come Wednesday morning, readings are in the range of 7–12 degrees, nearly 60 degrees colder across my southern tier of counties.

Wind chills of 15-7 below zero are common.


HOW ABOUT SOME SNOWFLAKES FOR VARIETY

Most of Tuesday evening will be dry, but a rapid pressure rise and strong cold air advection will push wind gusts to speeds potentially more than 40 mph. The intense change to cold should also wring out any remaining moisture and produce periods of snow showers late Tuesday night. There's no organized wave to develop much in the way of accumulations, but a dusting is possible on grassy and elevated surfaces, perhaps an inch in isolated bands. A flash freeze is likely, so some slick spots are entirely possible on area roads later Tuesday night. The CAMS suggest this for potential snowfall.


The HRRR

The 3k NAM

Wednesday, expect a full-fledged return to winter temperatures, with readings likely remaining below freezing. Highs in most areas will be in the upper 20s north to low 30s south. Wednesday midday, some places are as much as 46 degrees colder than 24 hours earlier. Ouch!

SPRING RETURNS FOR THE WEEKEND

By Thursday afternoon the intense shot of cold air is lifting out and a return flow of southerly winds sets up for the coming weekend. Highs return to the 60s Saturday and should be toasty once again Sunday, when record highs in the 70s are a real possibility.


Needless to say, we are in for every conceivable type of weather the next 24 hours. Buckle up and enjoy the ride, this is some wild and historic stuff. Roll weather...TS PLEASE With my recent health issues, I very much need to reach my fund-raising goals, but we are getting closer. 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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