UP, UP, AND AWAY TODAY...
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WARMEST DAY SINCE CHRISTMAS
The last time the temperature touched 50 in the Quad Cities was back on Christmas day. If all goes well, that streak comes to an end at 44 days today. Our "spring fling" is the direct result of a nice surge of southerly winds and warm advection ahead of clipper traversing the upper Midwest. At 500mb you can see the disturbance swinging SE
into Minnesota Tuesday morning.
That track gets us into the warm air and it's up up and away for Tuesday's temperatures. The warmest readings in the low 50s will be near and SW of the Quad Cities.
Here's a view of the central Midwest showing how much above normal highs will be.
This closer view shows significantly cooler readings will be just to our east where there's a heavy snow cover in place.
The hi-res satellite imagery shows the snow pack just north and southeast of the Quad Cities. Those fortunate enough not to have it will be a good 5-7 degrees warmer than those that do.
This clipper with it's mild air is the second in a series of 3 that will end up impacting the region this week. The First passed Sunday evening and brought us a cold day Monday. Today's clipper warms us up but following its passage cools us down at least 10 degrees Wednesday and Thursday. There could be a few flurries in the north Wednesday but effectively precipitation remains a no-show until Thursday night or Friday when a much strong clipper blasts through the northern Great Lakes. It could bring a period of light rain or snow showers ahead of a warm front Thursday night that's followed by some snow showers or flurries behind the ensuing cold front later Friday. The GFS shows some minor accumulations in the north Friday night but for now I would say not much more than a dusting.
While precipitation is light and not impactful (.05 to.10"), temperatures will once again will be on the roller coaster. Highs in the south Friday have a chance to reach 50 before wind and modified Arctic air rolls in for the start of the weekend reducing highs to the teens on Saturday.
Believe it or not, we do it all over again Sunday and Monday as another clipper drops southeast out of Canada. What I'm saying is this push pull pattern is really locked in and going nowhere for at least another 10 days. That points to lots of temperature fluctuations and minimal precipitation. In fact, the GFS shows this for precipitation totals out 10 days through February 18th. Near the end of that period models are in good agreement a more active set-up brings the potential for some much needed rain or snow. We could use it.
Departures over that same period are as great as 1/2 inch over my region.
Snowfall is minimal as well. The GFS tries to crank out and inch or two north of I-80 (mainly in the Friday night scenario) but I suspect that is very much inflated.
One thing of interest out in fantasyland is the GFS 500mb flow February 23rd. It has a real La Nina look to it with a zonal flow cutting across the northern tier of the nation. The massive ridge over the Pacific NW is destroyed allowing Pacific air to flood the country. That implies a mild period to end the month. Overall, that would be a significant pattern change that limits Arctic air access to the lower 48. I suspect this is a one time model trend and I can't get on that band wagon yet. On paper though it sure looks like spring. Probably wishful thinking on the models part.
Well, that's where we stand for now. Break out the shorts this afternoon, take a walk, get some fresh air, or whatever it is you do to make your constitution feel better. We've certainly earned the reprieve. Roll weather...TS