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WINTER STILL HAS A PULSE...

A cold front zipped through the region early Thursday bringing a blustery dose of reality winter still has a pulse. After highs Wednesday near records in SE Iowa, readings today were down 13-23 degrees from 24 hours earlier.

NW winds of 25-30 did the real damage though as wind chills dipped into the teens by early evening where they will stay through the day Friday. Sub-zero readings were observed in NC Iowa.

The newfound chill will last another 24 hours with highs Friday remaining below freezing, mid 20s far north to low 30s in the far south. Fortunately there will be some sunshine to brighten things up and winds will gradually diminish later in the day.


After a cold start Saturday, winds return to the south as high pressure retreats. Under mostly sunny skies highs respond into the upper 30s to lows 40s. Sunday the southerly winds continue allowing additional warming. Highs head for the low to mid 40s in most areas but could approach 50 in the far south. With moisture increasing passing clouds will work their way into our skies.


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THE PATTERN TURNS ACTIVE NEXT WEEK

Come Monday a weather system is expected to cut a path northeast through Iowa. That puts my region in the warm sector ensuring precipitation falls as rain. Even in the cold sector to the NW, temperatures are marginal and snowfall will be limited. Here's what models are indicating for rain potential around my region Monday. I'm thinking these totals might be a tad high with the dry slot coming into play in parts of my region. Still a couple days to fine tune the amounts.


The EURO

The GFS

By the way, Monday promises to be another very mild day with highs approaching 60 in the SE tip of Iowa and WC Illinois. The north never gets into the true warm sector and highs there remain in the mid 40s.

Readings in most spots will be 20-25 degrees above normal. More like late March than mid January!

By the way, there is enough CAPE indicated for scattered thunderstorms Monday afternoon, especially in the south where the warmer temperatures will be more conducive for convection.


Behind system number 1, another storm develops midweek with the usual challenges of track, intensity, and precipitation type. Compared to the EURO, the GFS is tracking the system far enough north for primarily a rain event near and south of I-80 with snow (or rain changing to snow) north of that line. The EURO brings accumulating snow, to the NW half of my area with a late transition from rain to snow in the SE. The brunt of this disturbance is likely late Wednesday into early Thursday.


The variance in models is typical at this distance but I am of the belief the more southerly trend of the EURO is likely. If so, this would be the first widespread winter event since Christmas. I will show you what guidance is currently depicting for snow with the qualifier changes are going to happen so don't get caught up in any solution. The big issue now is to establish consistent trends and then amounts. I will start with the GFS which is furthest north and the least likely scenario in my opinion.

The EURO remains consistent on a track that brings the heaviest snow to the NW half of my area.

The Canadian GEM is the furthest south and nails the SE half of the region. I suspect it is too far southeast.

Clearly, there are issues to resolve in coming days as we work to tighten up the range of solutions. I think the big takeaway is that the potential is there for a winter storm next Wednesday night or Thursday. Confidence is high there will be a significant band of snow but low on the precise placement. Some part of my area appears to be in the crosshairs at this point.


As for colder weather long range, I'm seeing bursts of it but not the consistency I would like from run to run. The GFS had a really aggressive look for cold on the 27th, it's 12z run. It was significantly less cold on the 18z run 6 hours later. Here's the 12z run.

The 12z EURO looked much like the 12Z GFS, nice and fresh!

The MJO is just now getting into the colder phases so we will see if models start seeing more cold in the next 24-48 hours. The EPO does go negative around the 20th and I think that is critical for any serious cold to show up and hold the last week of January. We shall see.


With that, I conclude this round of thought. Happy Friday and roll weather...TS

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