Saturday, November 30, 2013

Northern Plains and Midwest Major Winter Storm

Major Winter Storm Shaping Up for Monday through Wednesday morning. A couple pieces of energy will combine to spin up a fairly significant area of low pressure by Tuesday. Right now it does appear that enough cold area will filter in to turn rain over to mostly snow, bringing up to a foot of snow in some places.  Because we are still a few days out some uncertainty does persist is a few aspects of this system. Where the heaviest band of snow sets up is in question, anywhere from North Dakota to northern Minnesota could be under fire with 10"+ certainly possible, the purple area is our best estimate at this time. Furthermore, the post system wrap around snows are in question, generally how much will fall on the back side of the winter storm in Wisconsin. Right now it's looking like 1-3" is a good bet, but it will depend on the time it takes to switch the rain over to all snow. One thing not in question, extreme cold will return as the strong area of low pressure passes through.  Well below normal temperatures will encompass all of the Midwest by the end of the week.

Previous map:

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Updated Final Midwest Winter Forecast 2013-2014

November 26th update:  As new computer model runs come in and conditions begin to play themselves out, we have tweaked our winter forecast this week. Nothing major, but one difference you may notice is the well below normal temperatures in the Dakotas!  This idea was mentioned in September, but backed off in October so it was left out of the original winter forecast. However, models and conditions are really hinting towards this extreme cold, along with the discussion from NOAA the cold is looking more and more likely. Enjoy your winter everyone, and be sure to stay with us throughout the snow season! 

Well here we go, after weeks of contemplation and sifting through models we finally have a solid winter forecast. To sum up, it will be winter's harshest stance in awhile. Nearly all long range models are showing an active storm track through the core of the midwest, leading to many cold snaps and winter storms.  This goes along with our analog winter forecast from September. We have had a very warm 6-8 weeks across much of North America, and this has lead to stratospheric warming in higher up latitudes. This phenomenon actually leads to a prolonged stretch of cool weather across our area. Usually in a season forecast you will hear something about La nina, or El Nino. Warming and cooling of the Pacific ocean, respectively. However, this year models are hinting at near average ocean surface temperatures, so this factor is relatively low.  Now we move on to the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO, Current model projection) it is a measure of "blocking" through height anomalies in Greenland. Basically we need a negative value for strong winter storms to come up from the south. A negative value gives us kinks in the jet stream which leads to drastic temperature differences from coast to coast (usually cold for the Midwest).  With that being said, we are expecting multiple negative NAO values this winter! Finally, we took into account many long range computer models: Find Some Here! to get our final product. Enjoy! Be sure to tell you friends and "Like" us on Facebook Click Here for more updates this season, looks like we will have a lot of work to do this year!

Discussion From September:

Winter forecasts and any seasonal forecasts for that matter can be very difficult because weather computer models will never fully agree on one set solution. Well, it is far too early to start rationally sifting through models to find what this winter will bring. This is why many in the weather world (including the CPC) are starting to use analog years with increasing popularity. Analog years are weather based data sets that compare well to what is currently observed during the season. The observations are used find the years that a given variable coincides with.

Basically, they are the years with similar weather conditions. Thanks to NOAA, NCEP, and Dr. D'Aleo, three analog years were found (2010, 2009, 1978), with the main variable being that of ocean patterns. With the most heavily weighted being that of 2009. With a good memory, you may remember 2009 shattered snowfall records for many cities in the Midwest. It was a year for the record books. The ESRL (an agency of NOAA) lets anyone input data and years to construct a "forecast" based on how such years 
were documented. This is how I 
developed these maps and 
forecasts you see on the page.

 Preliminary Forecast:
Below normal temperatures appear to be the rule of thumb this time around. It looks like the jet stream will stagger south, allowing for ample cool Canadian air masses to surge south throughout the season. With that being said, precipitation appears to be in the normal category, based on analog years. CPC agrees with me here. With the colder temperatures, this would signal more snow and less rain/sleet/ice.

Be sure to keep it here to for updates on the winter forecast and posts about the weather that impacts your life!!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Extreme Cold to Settle in the Midwest Tonight

Temperatures are falling fast already with some places hovering around zero degrees already at this hour. Some dangerous wind chills will settle in by the morning. The combinations of gusty wind and cold temps will cause frost bite in 10-20 minutes. Winds will also blow across the relatively warm lakes and dump a decent amount of snow in the common lake effect snow areas.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


 EDIT (3:00pm): Threat has exited the Illinois area:


The severe weather event feared for the past several day has started even earlier than expected. A PDS tornado watch is already in effect for Illinois and southern Wisconsin. The threat will shift east throughout the afternoon. Tornado indices are forecasted at a 9!! Thats a 90% chance of a tornadoes with 50 miles of a particular point. The atmosphere is maximized in terms of tornado ingredients. There is already three PDS (particular dangerous situation) tornado watches already issued. 
Here is a simulated radar for 2:00CDT this afternoon. Showing lines of supercell thunderstorms with no doubt embedded tornadoes. We cannot emphasize how dangerous this day will likely turn out. We can only hope that the tornadoes can stay away from heavily populated areas, but the highest risk is over a high densely populated area in the Midwest. Stay safe out there today! Be sure to check back for updates or follow us on our facebook page which you can "like" on the right of the page.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

November Severe Weather Outbreak Update


We cannot underscore the magnitude of the tornado threat tomorrow, the SPC has actually put out a "high risk" for damaging tornadoes. A particular point in the Midwest only sees high risks every 5-10 years. Another more details post will go up in the morning. Please be safe and stay ahead of the storms.

High Resolution computer model already picking up on the severe weather threat for tomorrow. This simulation is valid at 10am Sunday. Showing a band of moderate rain with embedded thunderstorms in Iowa and Wisconsin, with the beginning of possibly a destructive squall line already developing by late morning in Illinois and heading east into Indiana. A tornado outbreak is more than possible, along with an enhanced risk for damaging winds and large hail. Stay tuned and be safe tomorrow!

***Another update coming late tonight and tomorrow morning***


Friday, November 15, 2013


A strong area of low pressure will rapidly deepen as it passes into the Midwest this weekend. Heavy rain, large hail and damaging winds are all threats! The main show for severe weather goes down on Sunday in the Ohio Valley. The heaviest rain appears to fall in the Great Lake states (Click on map center tab for rainfall map) as the storm system strengthens. Some snow may wrap around on the back side as the colder air crashes in, but the main story will be the November severe weather event.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Midwest Storm Brewing Next Week?

Accumulating snow possible across the Midwest during the middle of next week. The European weather model has been showing a full blown winter storm for a couple days now. It has backed off a little on the amounts, but the American model is now showing this storm next week as well. It will depend on the amount of "phasing" we see in the system.  It has the potential to dump a good amount of snow somewhere in the upper midwest. Right now computer models are putting out amount of 3-6" mainly in Minnesota, however the exact placement of the snow will likely shift back an forth until reaching a solution in the coming days. Anywhere in the light blue shading has about a 25% chance of 2"+ of snow next week, with better chance in northern Minnesota. Be sure to check back here for updates and on our facebook page in the coming days!

Monday, November 4, 2013

First Accumulating Snow for Many

A very narrow band of moderate snow, heavy at times will over take parts of the Midwest Tuesday into Wednesday. An area of low pressure will emerge from the Rocky mountains later on Monday and move north quickly. Enough cold air will filter in to change over any rain to snow in the areas seen on the map.  Rain will fall to areas further east. The ground is still somewhat warm, so a lot of the snow will compact quickly, but will still pose problems for motorists. Stay safe, and enjoy the snow, or wait for the warmer weather later this week!