THE WICKED WIND OF THE NORTH...
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WICKED WIND OF THE NORTH
Here we are in the last week of January, a 7 day period that's notorious for producing some of the coldest temperatures of the winter. For many, that's the kind of weather that's on the table Tuesday and Wednesday as another Arctic front finds its way into the Midwest.
Since late Monday, this most recent round of frigid air has been steadily dropping temperatures and near daybreak Tuesday readings are expected to be zero or colder in the NW half of my area. These are the temperatures the EURO is indicating around 7:00am Tuesday.
Making matters far worse will be a stiff NW wind that drives wind chills into the range of 10 to 25 below zero. These are the wind chills shown on the EURO at 7:00am Tuesday morning. With temperatures moving little throughout the day (and winds sustained at 15 to 30 mph), winds chills will continue at those nasty levels until sunset.
These are the counties that are under wind chill advisories through Tuesday.
Tuesday night winds will back off as the ridge (the core of the cold) centers itself over the region. That's going to allow temperatures to freefall, especially where there is a decent snow pack. The EURO shows some places in NC and NE Iowa reaching 20-25 below. Those are some very impressive numbers.
Even though winds become relatively light after midnight, just a slight breeze will generate dangerous wind chills that could plunge to the range of 35 to 40 below in my NW counties. The general range from the Quad Cities northwest is 20 to 40 below zero
Here's a larger view of lows Wednesday around the Midwest. The sub-zero lows correspond nicely to locations that have snow cover.
Reported snow depths Monday morning.
Here's the larger perspective of regional wind chills Wednesday morning. That's painful to look at!
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Once the high pressure passes allowing another frosty day Wednesday, winds return to the south Wednesday night and ramp up. That allows rising temperature Wednesday night and highs Thursday that push freezing in the north and could reach 40 down south where snow cover is minimal.
That's followed by another fast moving cold front and Friday readings are right back in the teens and low 20s heading into the weekend. With the westerlies temporarily blocked by a powerful east coast storm, the air mass Saturday and Sunday doesn't really change much. That leads to seasonably cold readings with highs near or below normal, coldest in the snow covered terrain of the north.
Around the beginning of February, models are indicating a pattern change that builds a ridge over the east and a trough out west, a complete reversal of what currently exists. That allows significant moderation in temperatures and brings concerns about precipitation type with our next weather maker late next week. With the SW flow aloft this disturbance will finally have some moisture to work with and has the potential to bring at least moderate amounts of rain and snow to the Midwest. Where the system tracks and how phased the energy is will determine the eventual impacts on my area. As it stands now, most data points towards more rain than snow in my area with a low pressure that tracks into eastern Iowa. How many times have I seen that!
The bottom line is it's far too early to get detailed with any outcome but this is about the only precipitation chance worth mentioning over the next 8-9 days. Here's what the GFS, GEM, and EURO are showing for total precipitation from that event. This is going to change dramatically over time as track and intensity are determined. Amounts shown are nothing more than trends and a starting point for what's sure to be a lengthy challenge to find the truth.
With that, I will wrap this up by sending warm wishes with my thermometer registering a lonely 1 degree above zero shortly after 1:00am Tuesday. Think spring and roll weather...TS
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