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Before I get to the topic of Thursday's wet snow, here's some quantification of what most of us already suspected, this winter has been mild, (exceedingly mild)! The AWSSI (accumulated winter severity index), which measures how severe a winter is, currently resides at near to all-time record lows in many parts of the Midwest. In the Quad Cities, December 27th, the index registered 50. That's the lowest at this point compared to data from all other winters going back to 1950.

Des Moines, Minneapolis, Duluth, Fargo, Sioux Falls, St. Louis, Marquette, and Indianapolis are a few other notable cities with record low AWSSI levels. Below, you can see the projected final winter index in the Quad Cities of 277. That would establish a new record for an entire winter (if it's attained). The current low is 300.

By the way, December is currently averaging 10.1 degrees above normal per day in Dubuque. The average temperature of 35.3 makes it the 3rd warmest behind 1877 at 40.4 and 1889 at 37.4. Whatever happened to winter?


The weather system that's impacted our weather for nearly a week is what I call the Christmas gift that keeps on giving. Wednesday it brought light snow to my southern counties with some minor accumulations on elevated surfaces. Heavier totals were noted closer to the actual disturbance across SC Iowa. Here are the snowfall amounts from the Iowa Mesonet Wednesday.

A new round of forcing sweeps through the region from the NE Thursday, triggering another round of snow. Total precipitation is shown in the 1/4 to 1/2 inch range. That would usually indicate a 2-5 inch snow using standard10:1 ratios. However, surface temperatures will be near or slightly above freezing and ground temperatures are warm. That means lots of settling and melting and higher snow ratios. As a result, I expect most totals should be in the 1-2 inch range (perhaps 3 inches in a few spots), especially on elevated and grassy surfaces. Impacts to travel should be minimal. That said, I would not be surprised if winter weather advisories were issued for parts of my area Thursday. Thursday's snow should begin in the north early to mid-morning Thursday and spread into the south by mid-afternoon. Here's what models are suggesting for snow totals the next 36 hours.




The 3k NAM

the 12k NAM


Once this system finally ejects to the east Friday, the weather pattern looks quiet and mild by January standards going into the New Year. In fact, I look for similar conditions through at least January 7th. After that, models are hinting at a colder pattern by January 10th. Personally, I think that is on the table, but I have little confidence in such a trend with long range guidance performing poorly the past couple of weeks. All I will say is that a change to colder weather is on the back burner around January 10th and will be watched with interest going forward.

Enjoy today’s slushy. It's on the house. Roll weather...TS.



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