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THE COLD KNOWN AS THE ARCTIC VIRUS...

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FEAST OR FAMINE

For those in my area that saw snow, the storm is long gone but the snow continues to rage to the southeast in parts of Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri. Some ridiculous amounts in excess of a foot were found and some areas may top 20 inches before the last flake falls. A very high end event. Here are some of the snowfall reports on a broad scale. I was very satisfied with how my forecast played out going back to last Friday.

Areas northwest of the Quad Cities entirely missed the snow. However, as expected my counties SE of a line from Burlington to Kewanee had the highest totals. Some intense banding produced 2" per hour snowfall rates near Macomb and Lewistown where amounts greater than 14" were reported. Big time snow!

Some plotted reports from the NWS

Nick Stewart, meteorologist at KGAN TV in Cedar Rapids (and a presenter at my weather school event Saturday) sent me this image of him on a deserted street in Peoria. The Rocket Man, as he is known in my circle witnessed an 11-12 inch snowfall there . I added the title in case you were thinking what I was thinking. Wink, wink Nick.

So close, yet so far away for me. I can't buy a break when it comes to snowstorms. If you hate snow, live by me...

THE ARCTIC VIRUS IS BACK

The past 5 weeks my area has been plagued by what I'm calling the Arctic Virus. It hits hard, eases back and then strikes again. I've been vaccinated 3 times and I can't get rid of it. The symptoms are basic and tied to wind and Arctic air. The two have teamed up again and tomorrow we'll be under another attack as they combine to produce wind chills of 10-20 below. This graphic from the NWS shows wind chills Thursday morning.

Actual temperatures won't be as bad as some we've seen recently but mark my words, it will be plenty brisk. Highs Thursday will range from 10-20 north to south. Add about 5 degrees Friday and readings end up 15 to 25 which is well below normal. Slow clearing spreads into the north late morning and is expected to reach the south by evening. That leads to a sunny bright Friday.


For the most part the weekend is uneventful with seasonal temperatures and highs in the 20s Saturday to near freezing Sunday. Some cooling is possible Monday but readings should moderate for 2-3 days the middle of next week. I see minimal precipitation chances now right on through the next 7 days.


A PERIOD TO WATCH...

Week 2 (February 10-17th) is one to watch for the potential of more Arctic air. The GFS has been advertising the threat around February 10-11th for more than a week. It's been vacillating up and down resulting in runs that are frigid and others that are seasonal. It still sees the threat showing a 500mb flow that would bring the cold but who knows what it will offer tomorrow. Here's its 500mb jet and temperature departures around that time.

GFS departures the 11th

The EURO is far less enthusiastic and with a less amplified 500mb flow is significantly warmer at that time.

However, the EURO does have its version of an Arctic outbreak several days later around February 17th with temperature departures that look like this.

Clearly there is a lot of noise in the pattern leading to some serious differences in what we experience for temperatures. That leads to a low confidence forecast in week 2 temperatures. I can't say with any confidence what will happen but I would lean towards colder than normal. The real doubt lies in just how cold?


In all honesty, the big picture out two weeks continues to be dominated by NW flow with occasional clippers. As I said, that should lead to below normal temperatures through mid-February. The jet structure would also be supportive of clippers which are hard to pin point at this distance and generally fast moving and moisture starved. At this point, the first crack at one of these impacting my area would not be until Thursday or Friday of next week.


Here in the Quad Cities, we've been bypassed by the heart of any storm system for over a month and the total precipitation at the NWS office in Davenport at just .29" the past 32 days.

In the Quad Cities that's roughly 10 percent of what's normal. I do not like storm free patterns!

With that, I wrap up another post with the thought spring is less than 50 days away. We're grinding but making progress. Have a sensational day and roll weather...TS

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