Sunday, March 24, 2013

The First Sight of Spring

Another cold week ahead, as the January pattern will continue to hold for the next 4-5 days. However, by the end of the week conditions look to favor for at least seasonable temperatures. We have been stuck in a pattern that was highly driven by strong high pressure blocking in the north Atlantic. Notice the negative values on the NAO (north atlantic oscillation) chart below. This usually means a stormy and cold pattern for the midwest and eastern coast. It appears that this index will go to neutral and many models are showing a warm up with a northern shift to the jet stream. Southerly winds will usher warm air north. Most areas will finally get above average for Saturday and Sunday. Not a major warm up, but it will feel relatively warm compared to recent weeks. Areas that just received heavy snow on Sunday will struggle to warm up with d snow cover, but with strong warm air advection temperatures just above average should still be expected. Early next week forecast gets a little iffy, some models showing another snow storm, some hold the warm air. We'll have to wait until we get closer. Once we get into late April long term prospects look favorable for a warm late spring and early summer. 

12z GSF model ensembles for NAO index, trend is upward.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Yet Another Pattern Induced Storm

Winter Is not over yet, and it looks like the pattern will hold for 10 days or more. The jet stream is way south (one factor for the cold) and this will lead to a cross country winter storm dropping heavy snow from Denver to Boston. In the Midwest it looks like the heaviest snows will be in northern Missouri, up to 10" or 11" are possible in this area. The storm will start Sunday in linger into Monday night for some. Another disturbance will create an enhanced area of light snow in northern Iowa and southern Minnesota. Spring will come, once it does long term data suggested an above average one!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Winter Storm Monday

Winter is not over yet, and no major warm ups in the near future. There are some signs of a warm towards the end of next week, but don't hold your breadth. For Monday, two low pressure systems will nearly merge tomorrow. One will bring blizzard conditions to southern Minnesota. Not too much snow there, but the winds will blow hard and create near white out conditions, possible interstate closures Monday morning (in the normal open areas). It will be a quick hitting snow, so watch out during the morning and afternoon commute. The heavy totals will stay to the north.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Friday Clipper Begins an Active 2 Weeks

A quick hitting system will bring moderate snows to many in the Midwest tomorrow. Note that the totals on the map is what will fall from the sky and accumulate on cold surfaces. This time of year a lot of the snow will melt on pavement, especially during the day.
Another, even larger, storm will move in from the west early next week. An area of 4-8" possible in Minnesota and northern Wisconsin, with less south. Models are still trying to conform on a solution as to where this band will set up. Yet another system possible at the end of the week...winter continues.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Where is Spring?

Where is Spring seems to be a common question these days. Well, nothing in the computer models would hint to any sign of spring. We can only go on climatology at this point. The next two weeks look to be snowy and wet for the whole Midwest. A widespread area of 5-15 degrees below normal will fill in starting tomorrow. One computer model puts out 10-25" of snow for areas north of a line from Chicago to Rapid City. Much of this could come from a large winter storm early next week for much of the area in light blue. Updates coming. Winter has its grip in the Midwest this year.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Winter Storm after a Soaking Rain

After this weekend's system brought over an inch of rain to many, another piece of low pressure will drive to the north today and tonight. It will collide with an incoming cold front to change much of the rain over to snow. This will create a narrow band of heavy snow. Up to 8" or 9" of snow may fall in central Wisconsin only adding to one of the snowiest winters of all time. In the meantime areas to the east of the snow swath will see even more rain. Watch out for even more flooding due to the recent rains and constant snow melt.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Note that this is for additional snow, for total amount see post from last night, forecast should hold!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Winter Storm Update

Computer Models are narrowing in on snow totals, and so is our map.
Problems: dry air in northeastern areas and banding
Confidence: axis of heavy snow along Mississippi River and track.

Dry air will really prevent a strong eastern movement to the snow band so areas such as northeast Wisconsin will not see much. It looks like the strong band will hit Minneapolis to Chicago. With such a narrow band, we will be watching to see if anything changes tonight and tomorrow morning. Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Winter Storm Update

Models coming together now. Any shifts would likely be in the southwestern direction, but confidence is finally high. See last post for more information. Take care.

Complicated Storm System to Hit Hard

Here is the first snow map this clipper/strong low pressure system. Two storms will merge around northern Illinois and create enough lift to drop up to a foot of snow in spots. The problem is an area of high pressure in Ontario that will keep off some of the snow from moving east. The question is how long will the high pressure hold and how far east will the heavy band get. A few days ago high pressure appeared to win out, and the heaviest snow looked to fall in Iowa, however new data has led to the consensus on the left. The are winter storm watch and warnings postedfrom North Dakota to Illinios. I would expect them to get expanded to the east as we get closer to the system and confidence of the weakening high pressure falls apart. Notice how narrow the band is, giving even less room for error. Later today should shed more light on this system, and look for an update later this afternoon/evening. Simply said confidence is not complete, so check back later for an even more              concrete forecast

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Storm coming, but where?

Very quick update tonight. It looks like we will have a narrow band of heavy snow from a strong clipper. This clipper will then merge with another shortwave system to combine over northern Illinois and keep the band going. This forecast is tough. Usually models would be averaged to create an actual snow map, but confidence is simply too low. Come back tomorrow morning to afternoon for a snow map!

Also, would like to thank you for all the support in the past few weeks! Thank you to those that have sent messages via facebook and/or "shared" our maps to spread the word to your friends! Keep it up!