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Another Christmas has come and gone. (Excuse me if I didn't notice it was Christmas by our weather). Readings in the low to mid 50s, even 50 at night, broke records for warmth. Here's a look at how much above normal temperatures were at noon Christmas day. Most of my area was 30–34 degrees above late December norms!

Thanks to a 59 degree high Christmas Eve day, temperatures in Moline, Illinois are averaging 9.0 degrees above normal for December (that's per day)! Heating degrees days are 230 degree less than average. Dubuque is even more impressive thanks to December temperatures that are 10 degrees above normal and heating degree days 255 below normal. That really helps with the old heating bill. Below are the Midwest temperature departures for the 7-day period December 18th to 24th.

Of course, it was a brown Christmas locally, with a running streak now of 23 days with no measurable snow. Below you can see many parts of the Midwest have received just 10-25 percent of their mean seasonal snowfall to date.


As you know, warm and very moist air has dominated the pattern for several days. Above normal temperatures, clouds, fog, and rain have been prevalent at times the past 4 days. Some respectable rains have fallen over that period with amounts of 1/2 inch to as much as an inch showing up on Doppler estimates since Christmas Eve day.

The large upper air system responsible for the mild but damp conditions will slowly spin its way out of the Midwest over the next 2–3 days. However, the lengthy process will result in colder temperatures arriving in time for the start of our Tuesday. Temperatures, which begin in the low to mid 30s, only go up a few degrees during the day. In fact, under the cold core upper air low, readings are shown reaching -4 to -5 at 850mb (5,000 ft) Wednesday morning.

That is sufficient to generate enough instability for lots of clouds and some snow showers Wednesday and Thursday. Models have been off and on with amounts but do insist that if there are any minor accumulations, the SW half of my area is most favored closer to the upper air low circulation. Again, with warm ground and marginal surface temperatures, accumulations should be minimal and confined mainly to grassy and elevated surfaces. Here's what models are indicating for snow totals through Thursday.



The Canadian GEM

The 12k NAM

While temperatures will be colder the next 7 days, there is no true connection to Arctic air. As such, I look for near to slightly above normal temperatures to continue through the first week of January. That implies a bunch of highs in the 30s. After that, the second week of January has the earmarks of a colder and potentially more active pattern. This potential set-up January 11 would be interesting if it develops.

My confidence is still lower than I would like it to be on the structure of the long range pattern, as guidance has shown similar trends towards a more wintry look on a couple of other occasions and failed to deliver. For now, let's just say it's out there and will be watched going forward.

Hopefully you all had a fantastic Christmas and here's to the New Year ahead. May it be peaceful, prosperous, and filled with love. Roll weather...TS



Enjoy some Holiday Magic at the Little White Church of Galena! Terry and I are offering fantastic holiday discounts from now through the end of January. Book now and any weekend from today through January 2024 is $600. That is the total price. The only exception is if you bring Rover. There is a small pet fee. This is a 50% savings, even dear old St. Nick can’t match it!

The Little White Church is a fully renovated 18th century church nestled in the valleys of Jo Daviess county…just a little over five miles to the center of downtown Galena. With all the amenities of a five-star hotel, the Little White Church offers beautiful historic touches with comfort and style. Every group we have hosted to date has given us a perfect 5-star rating. We are considered a Super host by Airbnb.

We have five beds, three full bathrooms, full kitchen with dishware, small appliances, ice maker, a luxurious private master suite with en-suite and private deck, a large main floor deck, attached two-car garage, fire pit, gas grill, and 2700 sq feet of space to sprawl out You will not find a more modern and historic place to unwind and get away from it all. Furthermore, we are now decorated for the holidays, so get your holiday spirit cranked up and come and join us. I also can arrange a talk about the Christmas Eve weather scenario with Santa’s favorite meteorologist! Just text me at 563 676 3320.



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