Snow & Cold Thursday, More Possible this Weekend.
by Cody Matz
November 30, 2011 8:26 PM
The broken record of above average temperatures and below average precipitation looks like will be coming to an end very soon, in fact just in time for the start of December. This is extremely common and quite frankly was expected. Not necessarily to have this dry of a fall considering we experienced the driest fall on record in many cities in the I-29 corridor, but really common to have a mild October and November and then drop like a rock just in time for December. If you remember, this happened last year as well, all thanks to that La Nina phenomena you have been hearing loads about. But what’s different about this winter is that we are going into a second consecutive La Nina winter with the first one coming in as one of the snowiest of all time. So the question remains; how will this impact our area this year? Well that remains to be seen, but it does look like things are going to become a lot colder and could even be more active in terms of precipitation.
The first wave of cold air will hit Wednesday night and Thursday with a strong cold front pushing through the region. This will not only bring colder weather but also the return of snow, at least for some of us. Looks like the north will get in on a little bit of snow with the south dodging a lot of it. But things are rapidly changing and even parts of the south could get some minor accumulating snow early Thursday. A couple of our short range forecasting models are showing a band of snow moving through parts of the south, check it out in the still image below.
This band may move through the south dragging up to an inch worth of snow to parts of the I-90 corridor with best chances across southwest Minnesota. And of course there will be some wind and lots of cold air that comes in with it. Check out the temperatures moving into our area, all well below freezing.
If you think that’s bad, just wait as there will likely be even colder shots of air this weekend and early next week. But before we look at that, there is something new on the horizon; more snow possibilities. The storm that will be affecting our area Thursday will actually get cutoff from the steering current and drop into the desert southwest Thu-Fri. Well, it is expected to eject back out into the Midwest come Friday night and Saturday which could bring the southeast some snow. But here is the problem, forecasting models do not handle these types of storms very well because they are cutoff from the steering currents of the atmosphere which is what really drives the forecasting models accuracy. Because of this, there is large room for error for this upcoming weekend. Let me show you what I’m talking about. The images below are snow total forecasts from 2 different models for the upcoming Saturday storm.
You can see for your self that one band of snow is further to the north over our area and is more in a curve then a straight line. This same band gives parts of northwest Iowa as much as 10” of snow! But the second model is further south and in more of a straight line. This keeps much of the snow to our south giving northwest Iowa an inch or so. It’s these HUGE differences that make it hard to forecast these types of storms. So at the moment, the southeast will have to stay “on guard” so to speak for the weekend because snow “might” become an issue.
Regardless if we get the snow, we know the cold is coming. All of the forecasting models have been showing several shots of arctic air moving into the Midwest over the next couple of weeks. Look at the shot of Arctic air for this early next week and then again a couple days later.
Looks quite cold if you ask me. So if you haven’t pulled out the gloves, hats, scarfs, long underwear, and shovels yet… you might want to do so in the next couple days.