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TALE OF TWO TYPES OF WEATHER...

For about 80 percent of my area, Thursday was windy cold day with temperatures in the teens and low 20s with wind chills of zero to 10 degrees. The other 20 percent of the region got the full monte with the wind, cold, and added ingredient of snow. Much like the big storm of a couple weeks ago, there was sharp cut off to the northwest edge of the snow band with the most significant amounts falling southeast of a line from near Burlington to Annawan to Rochelle. The snow band did end up about 30 miles NW than the high-res models indicated. I thought the NWS did a great job with their advisories and warnings once we got past Wednesday night. Kudos to them in that regard.

Here's a contoured map of snowfall reports. Look at the 12" totals between Quincy and Peoria. Some places down that way have had 20-24 inches of snow in just the past two weeks. Less than 90 miles away I've had a trace. In fact, for the whole winter I'm at just 10 inches. As always, close but no cigar for me as I represent the black hole of the snow world. One of these days my time will come!

Here's what the storm looked like Thursday afternoon on the mid-level water vapor loop. There's a classic dry slot punching into the storm circulation center in SE Illinois.

The weekend ahead will be dominated by a couple of clippers which pass north of the region. That's a recipe for manic temperatures as readings warm ahead of the clippers and cool significantly behind them. You can see what I mean in the meteogram below for Cedar Rapids. Highs go from the teens to 40s, then back to 20s, then to fifties, and back to 20s...unfortunately for an extended period of time February 23rd to 28th. There will be some wind in there with pressures regularly rising and falling. Aside from a few snow showers Friday night, the forecast appears dry until Monday night.

Monday night's system is a complicated one as it slowly evolves into Tuesday. Despite the fact the surface low is expected to pass south and east of my area, enough warm air gets into the system at mid-levels that precipitation type becomes problematic. It could start as freezing rain or sleet, (perhaps a bit of rain) and then ultimately change to snow as colder air is drawn in at the tail end of the event. Here's the surface depiction Monday night. Notice the intense gradient created by the east/northeast winds. If we did get into a freezing rain situation that has the potential to get ugly.

Further north where significant powdery snow is anticipated in Minnesota and Wisconsin, (perhaps far northern Iowa), near blizzard conditions are possible. The GFS shows this for snow up that way.

By the way, it appears like cold is going to lead the way the last week of February. Here's the 7 day temperature departures on the GFS February 25th-March 2nd. That's not a friendly look anywhere in the central U.S.

I always like to leave on a positive note and that's the fact the MJO (Madden Julien Oscillation) is projected by both the EURO and GFS to move into phase 6 around March 1st. As you can see below 6 in March is a warm phase and if we can pull that transition off we would be in for some real spring like warmth. I'll be keeping an eye on that.

With that, I am going to call it a day. Thank god it's Friday. Make it a stellar day and even a better weekend. Roll weather...TS

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