THE HOUNDS OF HALLOWEEN...
The hounds of Halloween will be howling Tuesday as a Manitoba mauler descends on the region. An early display of pre-season cold, wind, and even some spotty snow showers, will unleash the wolves of winter on the heart of the Midwest. This year, the trick is on us.
Okay, that may be a tad dramatic but I'm serious about the fact this will not be a pleasant day with impactful weather expected, especially Tuesday evening when trick or treaters hit the streets.
HERE'S THE "SCREAMING" HIGHLIGHTS OF WHAT THE DAY HOLDS...
Temperatures 20-25 degrees below normal
Scattered snow showers (some briefly intense), mainly in the far NE half.
Powerful winds 30-40 with wind chills in the 20s.
This demented scenario is the result of a compact but intense 500mb low that sweeps rapidly through the Midwest. Its core is characterized by a very cold pocket of cold air. About a mile up at 5,000 ft. 850mb temperatures on the EURO are shown as cold as -12 around daybreak Tuesday.
You can see how anomalously cold that air is for October. It's expected to generate hefty lapse rates which is likely to create instability that is ripe for scattered but intense short lived snow showers (squalls) in the northeast.
Additionally, surrounding the circulation and it's cold air, vorticity is wrapping into the the center. It will provide a couple periods of intense lift. Early Tuesday at 7:00am one (in red) is exiting NW Illinois while anther is rotating southeast into NE Iowa.
They should result in two periods where stronger snow showers will be possible, mainly NE of a line from roughly Oelwein to Clinton and on southeast to near Princeton, Illinois. The first potential burst associated with warm air advection should be out of the NE by 7-8:00 am. The second burst tied to the cold air advection behind the circulation, would be later in the morning into the afternoon. It's important to stress that banding is likely to occur and not all areas will see the heavier squalls that are confined to the northeast. However, with the very steep lapse rates convective snow showers could result. If so, intense snow showers could limit visibility significantly for short periods of time, particularly with wind gusts of 30-40 mph. These localized bursts could also produce quick but narrow accumulations up to 1/2 inch. Ground temperatures remain warm but bridges and overpasses could become slick in spots where squalls occur. Mesoscale details won't be known until well past the time this post is issued. Stay tuned if you are traveling north.
The graphics below show visibility restrictions from snow. Red depicts 1 mile or less with purple 1/4 mile or less. The first below is at 5:00 am.
This one, the second is around 11:00am.
Below are 10 meter wind gusts on the EURO. Note the stronger gusts are SW of the upper air circulation where my area resides.
As for snow totals, they are not expected to amount to much and none are likely from the Quad Cities southwest, even though a few snow flurries or snow showers may occur. In the far north, where the snow squalls are on the table, up to 1/2 inch is possible, which would be the worst case high end scenario. That should be the exception rather than the rule. Most totals should be little more than a dusting. Recent trend have even less than that.
Because of the fact the snow showers are instability driven, their strength is hard to pinpoint which lessens confidence in how much might fall. Keep that in mind along with the fact that the snow showers will come and go rather quickly. There will be plenty of dry hours! Here's what models are suggesting for potential accumulations through Tuesday.
The 3k NAM
The 12k NAM
The 10K Canadian GEM
TRICK OR TREAT SPECIAL
After a cold, windy, and in spots flaky day, conditions won't get much better for trick or treating. The ghosts and goblins will need to bundle up like a mummy. Temperatures in the early evening will range from the upper 20s NW to the low 30s SE. The snow showers will be gone and the winds will subside some. However, wind chills will still be in the low to mid 20s. Without this will be one of the colder Halloweens on record, especially with regard to wind chills. Quite a change from last year when the Halloween high in the Quad Cities was 70. Oh my!
The remainder of the week looks quiet but very much on the cool side. Highs will remain well below normal, especially through Thursday. Highs from north to south will go from 40-46 Wednesday to 48-54 Thursday. Friday we get a little closer to normal with 51-57 expected. Dry conditions are anticipated.
Happy Halloween and be sure to hold onto your broomsticks and witches hat. Roll weather...TS
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