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Monday's break from the calm, dry conditions of the past month is long over now that the storm has departed the Midwest. We have now returned to a quiet weather pattern, which bodes well for Thanksgiving travel. The trip to grandma's place this year before, during, and after the holiday will feature ideal road conditions. That's until some minor issues Sunday, more on that in a bit.

That storm that zipped through the region Monday deposited its heaviest precipitation on the SE half of my area. A few spots had nearly 1/2 inch of rain, although most totals were 1/4 inch or less. Amounts quickly dropped off NW of a line from Dubuque to Cedar Rapids.

Unfortunately, the region that needed the rain the most got the least. Note the severe to extreme drought conditions in place over much of eastern Iowa before the storm.

This tighter perspective shows the rain that fell around Iowa ending noon Tuesday. The more significant rain band stayed just off to the east of the drought stricken region. Close but no cigar!

Under the control of a very dry air mass, the sensible weather Wednesday through Saturday is pretty straight forward. Temperatures Wednesday and Thanksgiving Day will range from 40 north to 45 south. That's right on the button when it comes to the norms. The only glitch will be gusty winds Thanksgiving due to the passage of a cold front. While only a few passing clouds are expected, the front will serve to drop temperatures a good 10 degrees the remainder of the holiday weekend. That results in highs of 30-35 Friday through Sunday, with nighttime lows well into the 20s.

We're still looking at the potential for some light snow Sunday as an elongated trough of low pressure emerges from the Plains. It should scoop up just enough moisture for clouds and a short window for the light snow. Here's the 500mb trough and its energy crossing the Midwest Sunday.

Without an organized surface low, decent moisture, or much in the way of forcing, snow totals are nothing to write home about. In fact, the latest guidance has come in even lower than previous runs. That keeps confidence low with regard to any snow accumulations. Here's what models are suggesting for totals.

The GFS. It went from an inch in most locations to nothing.

The EURO is a bit more generous, but at best shows nothing more than a dusting.

Behind the system, a healthy pop of cold air arrives Sunday night and Monday. Highs Monday are only in the 20s, far below the norms of 40-44.

Below you can see some of the projected temperature departures.

Winds will also be brisk and the potential is there for wind chills Monday morning near zero. The GFS indicates this.


Now, here's something that might cause you fans of winter some consternation for a time in December. It's the EURO MJO (Madden Julien Oscillation), shown entering phase 4 the first 2 weeks of December. Phase 4 analogs are very toasty for much of the nation, as you can see in the temperature correlations off to the right. If this trend is right, Pacific air would blow torch the Midwest with well above normal temperatures. That's pretty ugly!

On a positive note, by December 18th the MJO is shown entering phase 7 which in December analogs to cold. If this goes bad for a time in December, the push to 7 could get us back in the game for cold (and perhaps snow) the week before Christmas. This is a trend I will obviously be watching in the days ahead. With that, I will call it a post. Be safe if you are traveling, have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and by all means roll weather...TS



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