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THE LOSS OF A VERY DEAR FRIEND...


MADELEINE SUE SWAILS "MING MING"

Well guys, if you have ever had to put a beloved pet to rest, you know it's one of the most heartbreaking days of your life. It's a topic that none of you came here to read about but, if you've have been down this road, you know the emotional toll it takes.


Maddie (better known as Ming-Ming) was a little black cat that came into our life by way of a shelter. All she wanted was a home and to be loved. For 19 years she helped us unwrap Christmas gifts (she was big with the bows), supervised the grill at cook-outs, went fishing with me on warm summer days, and even watched lightning perched on my lap from the porch of the house. Of course, on those days when one of us was sick, she was quick with a head butt and a comforting purr. She never met a can of tuna she didn't like.


You know how there are people in your life who make a difference? Well pets do too. Ming-Ming was a great friend and companion. She just loved to love and I think we all know the world could use a little more of that. So it was with a heavy heart, that I said my good-byes Friday and scratched where it always itched one last time. Then she was gone, in my arms but not really. I imagine she's catching butterflies, sniffing daisies, or napping in the sun, her favorite hobbies.


Safe travels Ming-Ming, your light shines on as do the memories of a life well lived. Until we meet again...love Dad.

WATCHING LIGHTNING ON THE PORCH


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A LITTLE ICE IS TOO MUCH ICE...

Due to the difficult nature of my day Friday, I hope you will forgive the "to the point" nature of this post. The primary concerns in the short term center around strong warm advection that brings warmer temperatures Saturday. Highs from about I-80 north will remain just below freezing while the south shoots for 32 to 34. The upglide from the warm air over-running the remnants of our recent Arctic intrusion will provide just enough lift to saturate the atmosphere. In my northern and western counties (NW of the Quad Cities) that process generates some freezing drizzle/perhaps mixed with some very light snow or freezing rain. Southeast of there, the rest of my area will see somewhat stronger forcing that produces enough lift for precipitation amounts of .01 to .03". That's not very much but with the very cold ground temperatures that now exist, even if highs a few feet above ground reach 33-34, the light rain or drizzle here could still freeze on untreated surfaces. Even a light glaze could create very slick driving conditions. This all begins Saturday afternoon or evening and should be around no later than Midnight when drier air arrives on another cold front.


The NWS has put out this graphic indicating where the greatest chance for icing is currently expected.

They followed that up with a winter weather advisory through Saturday evening. It covers about the SE half of the region including most of my counties adjoining and southeast of the Mississippi.

The threat ends with the passage of a cold front between 10:00 pm and 1:00 am Saturday night. Not only does it bring dry air, it sends temperatures tumbling once again. Highs Sunday through Tuesday will be well below normal.


Another minor issue is centered around a clipper which should bring some light snow to the northeast 1/3rd of the area. It's not going to amount to much but a few spots up that way could see and inch or so of accumulation. It will be fluffy and light. The GFS shows totals that look like this. Remember, this is not a forecast and subject to change.

The EURO is a little weaker and lighter on amounts.

One last thing, these are the 500mb charts off the GFS and Canadian GEM out around January 20th. Observe the nasty trough showing up over the central and eastern U.S.


The GFS

The GEM ensemble

Look at the cold air such a trough would create. The GFS has bitter cold that engulfs much of the nation east of the Rockies! That has a wicked appearance. More on that in the days to come.

That's all I have for now on a day I'm glad to put behind me. Thanks for allowing me to express my feelings about Ming Ming. It helps to get it out and move forward. Roll weather...TS

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