THE WAVE TRAIN IS RUNNING...
An active weather pattern will assert its influence on the Midwest Thursday through Tuesday of next week. The wave train, which guides disturbances, is set to line itself up out ahead of a slow moving large scale western trough. Energy ejecting out of the mean trough will ripple northeast, bringing several chances for precipitation, although none of it looks to be especially heavy aside from the far south. How the energy phases and where it tracks will determine the impacts across the region. Discrepancies are already numerous amongst models, so forecast challenges lie ahead.
Before any action begins, our weather will undergo noticeable improvement as warmer weather prevails until the passage of a cold front late Thursday. Highs Wednesday are expected to reach the upper 30s to low 40s, a big step up from the 20s of Tuesday. You can see the improvement in the 24-hour temperature increases below.
Thursday looks even better than Wednesday due to a pre-frontal draw of mild air, which boosts highs into the lower 40s north to the upper 40s south. By evening, a cold front exits the region before stalling in Missouri and central Illinois. From there, low pressure rides up along the front into central Missouri. By then, NE winds have tugged in cooler air and a band of rain approaches my southernmost counties late Thursday night. This band looks to clip at least the SW half of my area as the surface low lifts into Illinois. It's possible that before the rain ends Friday morning, it could mix with or change to snow for a short period. There could even be some minor accumulations, especially on grassy and elevated surfaces. Due to phasing issues, there is some doubt how far north the precipitation gets and if and where any snow might develop. Most models do show some light accumulations in a small band on the northern fringe of the precipitation shield from about the Quad Cites SE. Here's what models are suggesting for snowfall Friday morning.
The Canadian GEM
The hi-res 3K and 12k NAM are more phased and further north developing a healthy snow band over all but my far SE counties. Their aggressive solutions appear overblown and at least for now seem unlikely. That said, the trend in the CAMS needs to be watched for more northerly impacts.
Once this disturbance departs, another ripple could bring a brief period of light snow or flurries to the SE Friday night, with another round possible Saturday evening. Last but not least, a final band of light snow or flurries is possible Sunday night. Again, total precipitation is minimal and with temperatures marginal, any accumulations now look to be around an inch (maybe 2" in a spot or two). The NW half of the region currently is most favored for what accumulations do occur. Here's what models are currently indicating for snowfall for all three of these opportunities combined. Keep in mind mesoscale details are still unknown which leads to low confidence regarding any weekend snow accumulations. Hopefully, another day of data will get a more consistent look in guidance midweek.
The Canadian GEM
All things considered, the next 5 days are showing volatility and uncertainty with so much energy in the pattern. Hopefully, I've got the general trends in order.
In closing, I will add that the long range pattern December 4th-15th appears destined to be mild with above normal temperatures and most likely no snow. The MJO push through the mild phases of 3, 4, and 5 is the driver leading the charge in the warm-up.
Here's the 10-day temperature departures for the period December 5th-15th. I don't see much of a chance we avoid the torch. Hopefully we get it behind us and get back to a wintry look by Christmas.
With that, I will wrap this up and wish you all a good day. Roll weather...TS
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