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This fabulous fall fling that's extended into meteorological winter is just about over. We'll squeeze out one more day of mild weather before the hammer comes down hard on Monday. The catalyst in this significant change is a clipper which is marching through the upper Midwest. It looks like this on the GFS surface depiction Sunday night.

Out ahead of the system just enough moisture exists for scattered light showers to develop in the morning that move northeast through the afternoon. Rain totals won't amount to much but a few spots could pick up 1/10th of an inch. Most places will likely see even less than that. One thing that needs to be watched is the potential for some freezing rain at the onset of the showers, especially north of HWY 30 (more likely HWY 20). It's a bit of a long shot and it would not last long as warm advection drives readings above freezing mid to late morning in that area. With plenty of low clouds around it won't be a pretty day. Highs will range from the upper 30s north to the low 50s far south with brisk SE winds adding some extra chill.

Sunday evening a strong polar front plows southeast delivering an eye opening shot of cold air. Come Monday morning temperatures will be back in the 20s and will not budge the remainder of the day. Strong winds will also accompany the plunge. From midnight Sunday through the day Monday gusts of 30-40 mph are likely and a wind advisory is a possibility. Wind chills look formidable and much of Monday they will hover in the range of 5 to 15 degrees. In Minnesota they drop as low as 15 below! No thanks....

Winds back off Monday night and Tuesday but temperatures will remain well below normal. Lows Monday night slip to the 10-15 degree range and highs Tuesday stay in the mid to upper 20s.

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Prospects for much in the way of accumulating snow continue to diminish. Despite some decent warm advection Tuesday the forcing within it is not focused and there is a ton of very dry air. That's a debilitating blow and it appears now that little more than a dusting (if that) will fall late Tuesday or Tuesday night. The best case scenario is up to an inch on the GFS with the EURO and GEM producing only flurries. Since the GFS is the only model that shows any accumulations of more than 1/2 inch that's the only one I'm posting. It's probably well overdone but it's on the table.


Overall, Tuesday's system has been very disappointing and is another example of how difficult it has been to get any sort of storm system to produce significant precipitation since way back in mid-October. Frankly, I'm beside myself and have gotten to the point where I have no faith in models beyond 3 days when they indicate something of interest. They are struggling to establish trends with any sort of consistency regarding precipitation. One day something looks great and the next there's not even a hint of it. It's not just one model either, they are all doing it. I'm sure it's a problem resolving the overall long wave pattern. I'm concerned that this is going to be a common theme for us this winter. I still think we will get our cold shots but the overall NW flow could very well be locked in place for some time leading to well below normal precipitation. I sincerely hope it's not the case as this is no fun to forecast and it's frustrating as heck.

Since I'm in a foul weather mood and my Hawkeyes were just drilled by Michigan I should stop for now. Tomorrow will be a different day and I will wake with hope and enthusiasm. Thanks for checking in and roll weather...TS


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