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A strong cold front of Arctic origin is blazing a trail through the upper Midwest bringing an ugly combination of wind and frigid air back into the forecast. Temperatures have been falling since the passage of the front Tuesday night and readings throughout Wednesday will hold steady or fall as the chill deepens.

So in essence, Wednesday's temperatures will be at their warmest early in the morning when they are in the range of 6 to 12 with a slow slide there after. The blustery NW winds up to 30 will drive wind chills into the range of 5 to 15 below most of the day. It's just not going to be pleasant.

Things go downhill from there Wednesday night through Friday. By Thursday morning the EURO indicates lows

ranging from zero in the SE to 10 to 15 below in the deeper snowfields of the NW.

Along with that winds will still be bitterly brisk producing wind chills that should range from 10 to 25 below zero. Wind chill advisories will be issued for much of the area Wednesday night and Thursday.

The frigid air is still in place Friday morning when the EURO shows lows 5 to 20 below zero from the Quad Cities NW. Fortunately by then winds will be quite light as the ridge axis (the core of the cold air) sets directly over eastern Iowa.

Beyond Friday the forecast moderates allowing temperatures to warm to more seasonal levels with highs in the 20s to perhaps 30 in the far south Monday. However, confidence in the overall details of both temperatures and precipitation is lower as a series of clippers rides southeast in the NW flow aloft. This results in at least a chance of light snow Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The precise track of these fast moving impulses will play a major roll in both temperatures, how much snow falls, and where it accumulates.

The first disturbance late Friday night and early Saturday is weak with little surface reflection. Thus, what snow falls looks very light and any accumulations would be minimal and most focused on the northern half of my area. Not much more than a dusting is currently anticipated.

The next disturbance hot on its heels arrives late Saturday night or early Sunday. This one has more of a surface reflection and assuming current trends hold has the potential to drop an inch or two as it streaks southeast.

The last clipper in the series enters the region around daybreak next Monday. This appears to be the strongest of the three snow chances with a swath of 2-4 inch snows possible in a narrow band. However, the track has bounced around some in the latest guidance package and it may be another day or two before a more defined path is established.

Due to the compact snow band with the last two systems just a small shift in the track would significantly alter potential snow accumulations and temperatures. That is why confidence in snowfall totals is relatively low despite moderate to high confidence that each system will produce accumulating snow.

With all the qualifiers above here's what the latest runs of the GFS, EURO, and GEM show for potential snow accumulations Saturday through Monday. Again, these are not forecasts and the value of their output at this distance is strictly to portray trends in track and intensity. That said, here's the latest snowfall projections for all three events through Monday.




After the clippers do their dirty work a massive 1046mb high descends on the Midwest bringing another dense Arctic air mass into play. The surface map looks like this Tuesday night January 26th.

That brings a new batch of sub-zero temperatures Wednesday morning.

Wind chills in some parts of NC Iowa dip as low as 44 below on the EURO!

The presence of the high will ensure temperatures remain well below normal the remainder of January, especially if those clippers deposit some fresh snow this coming weekend. These are the temperature departures for the 5 day period January 24th-29th. Mighty fresh!

That's a wrap for another day. As I sign off the wind has now switched to the NW and is gusting to 33 mph. The Arctic front has just passed and for all practical purposes so has any warm weather for the foreseeable future. January in the Midwest, it's not for wimps! Roll weather...TS


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