Everything worked out pretty well as far as the forecast goes. I was off by about an hour as far as the onset of snow and the treacherous conditions go, but overall I’m pleased at the snow totals that I’ve seen this morning, ranging from a dusting to about 1″.
The focus now for the rest of the day is on the cold air and the gusty winds that will keep wind chill factors in the single digits, and very possibly will keep highs below 20° for many areas this afternoon. Here is a look at the latest RUC model portraying temperatures at around 2PM this afternoon, essentially the daytime highs for the day.
Notice how our highs are barely near 20° and highs across N MO are closer to about 15°. Currently temperatures, as of this writing, are closer to 15° and with lots of clouds today and NW winds gusting to near 30 MPH with colder air moving in throughout the day, it will be a struggle to get much warming at all. Here is the latest surface map.
The numbers in RED are the 7AM temperatures. We’re in the middle teens and upstream, towards NE, single digits are common. That cold air will move in throughout the day.
The forecast surface map off the RUC shows the developing storm across the Great Lakes area. This will be a doozy in terms of the large coverage of snowfall and the amount of lake effect that it will generate of the course of several days.
It’s going to be a rough day in the Chicago area as the snow will start flying soon with forecasts of 4-8″ with lake-enhanced snowfall also kicking in across the western parts of MI.
So where are we going from here, well this cold air mass will move away beginning Friday night and we should start moderating over the weekend. You can see how temperatures will bounce back by looking at the warming that will exist at 5K feet up. Take a look at this map off of Unisys. The real moderation should take place on Sunday as it appears a clipper may keep Saturday’s highs from warming as much as some may think. The times for the map in the upper left are 6AM SAT then 6PM SAT then in the lower left 6AM SUN and then 6PM SUN.
Notice also that next surge of cold air across NE MT, that will move in on Tuesday, be prepared for another big dip in the highs on Tuesday as we shift into the cold air again. This may repeat itself off and on for quite some time because the cold air will be nearby for most of the next 10 days. With Tuesday and next Thursday being the most likely days for us to see a decent drop in the highs. There are still no significant storms, rain or snow, showing up in the near future, or at least for the next 7-10 days. It should be noted that with such a thermal contrast from north to south across the country, it won’t take much to get something big going. The latest run of the EURO model suggests that after January 21 or so we may be flooded with warm air again. That would last for a few days. We’ll see.
I’ll be updating the blog off and on throughout the day and will add in some snowfall totals later this morning. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow @fox4wx for twitter updates. Last night we were posting numerous snow and road updates as conditions quickly deteriorated.