WARMING OUR WAY TO A SNOWY DAY...
You would be hard pressed to know it Monday but warmer air is on the way to the Midwest and with it comes a mini-thaw that should get us above the freezing mark for a couple of days. In fact, as you can see below readings by Tuesday evening are expected to be 35-40 degrees warmer than they were Monday evening.
That translates to high temperatures like this late Tuesday. Wednesday by the way looks quite similar, maybe a couple degrees cooler.
If it weren't for the snow on the ground, highs in the 40s would be common with perhaps a 50 in the far south. However, a decent snow pack remains with snow depth of 2-5 inches common around the region.
Interestingly, the NW third of Iowa is snow-free, about the only part of the Midwest that can make that claim.
With the coming thaw we should be able to chip away at the existing snow and I think depths will go down at least a couple inches over the next 48 hours. The south may have little left by the end of the week.
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WINTER STORM TO START THE WEEKEND?
Thursday, colder air gradually sinks back into the region setting up an active period that contains the potential for a winter storm Friday and Friday night in some part of the Midwest. Before the main event, the EURO is hinting at a weak snow disturbance streaking southeast late Wednesday night or early Thursday. It depicts 1/2 to 1 inch of snow so nothing major but it could create some slick spots. That's assuming the EURO is correct. The GFS is showing nothing in the way of measurable snow.
That leads us into the weekend system which has the potential to generate a moderate snow later Friday and Friday night in some part of the Midwest. Both the EURO and GFS are on board with the storm but both focus the heavier amounts west of the Mississippi. The GFS animation shows the surface low tracking southeast through SC Iowa on a path to St Louis. The 850 low also takes a favorable track just to the west of the area.
Here's another view of the system around Midnight Friday night. That's a cute little clipper.
Assuming trends hold that puts my area in a position for several inches of snow, especially in the SW half of the region. It's still too early to get cute with amounts but a 3-5" band is possible in some part of my western counties, lesser totals east of the Mississippi. To show you what's caused me to come up with that range here's the latest snow projections from the GFS, EURO, and GEM. These are not forecasts, just raw model output that we will eventually use to create forecasts as we get closer to the event. Things can and will change going forward, hopefully not drastically.
We'll have a much better feel for where this is all headed in the next 24-36 hours but for now, the signs all point to a moderate impact system in or just west of my area. Stay tuned.
COLD SIGNALS IN THE LONG RANGE
By the way, the long range guidance is pointing to much below normal temperatures after this week, especially in the period January 20-25th. The 5 day temperature departures during that period look like this on the GFS, EURO, and GEM.
The Climate Prediction Center is beginning to pick up on the trend too, showing below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation in its 8-14 day outlook. That's always a fun time in January. Fingers crossed on the above normal precip. which would most likely be snow. That's all for now. Roll weather...TS
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