Yesterday was a bitterly cold day for sure. Has it been worse? Yes.
Has it been colder? Yes, but it was a memorably cold day for sure.
Today though is a special day, for record reasons at least. We didn’t set a record low this morning, and we weren’t even close.
We dropped down to -4°… it wasn’t even close to a record. The record being a whooping 23° below zero. That was the record low from yesterday, too. Two straight days of 23° below on these two dates back in 1989… yes, it can be worse.
Today will remain cold, but as I type this we are approaching 0° and should finish the day somewhere in the upper single digits before the afternoon is done. Moderation will continue into the weekend as well.
The winds will gradually fade tomorrow afternoon too for Christmas Eve.
We’re watching a clipper for later Christmas night into early Monday morning that may moderate our temperatures before sending them back down on Monday.
IF that looks to be a bigger deal… I may get out a special blog for you.
Today: Sunny with highs near 10° and wind chills well below 0° with wind gusts to 30 MPH
Tonight: Fair and cold with lows near 0°
Tomorrow: Fair and cold with highs approaching 20°. Wind will gradually decrease in the afternoon. Sub-zero wind chills for the tailgaters though.
Sunday: Increasing clouds and not as cold with highs well into the 20s, maybe near 30°
Well, let’s keep this blog short because my fingers have done a lot of typing in the last five days, so we’ll just focus on the potential clipper coming down later Christmas Day/night.
Often when you get these cold patterns, little disturbances can get caught in the flow and move very fast from the NNW or WNE to the SSE or ESE. Ahead of these disturbances you can get a pronounced warm-up, and then you get a sharp cold front move through the region.
This may be on tap for Christmas night.
Aloft here is where we are on Christmas morning as Santa is getting to all the good boys and girls.
There is a large ridge in the western US; parts of the coastal areas of southern CA are heading into the 80° range for the weekend.
In eastern Canada is our big upper level storm that was responsible for the dump of polar air that moved into the region. Often in this regime we can get “ridge toppers” which are little disturbances that can strengthen as they go up and over the ridge and then dive south or southeastwards.
So let’s follow that X and what happens to it.
See how it digs into IA? As it does so though, it will suck in somewhat milder air across the Plains toward the region. As a matter of fact, it’s possible our temperatures continue to be steady or rise ahead of the feature Sunday night.
IF that feature digs in more, and comes farther southwestwards, we won’t get into the milder air and actually have a better chance of accumulating snows Sunday night into Monday morning.
It wouldn’t be a lot, but there could be some stronger winds with it and the potential of some rain or snow depending on the strength of the warm air flowing into the area. A sharp shot of cold air may happen on Monday again.
This is what it looks like around 3,000 feet. The numbers are the temperatures in °C. Remember 0°C is 32°.
We’re roughly 4C or near 40°F at that level, IF this model is precisely correct. That won’t work for keeping things snow.
Now imagine if that warm push is just a bit more southwest of the region… this would happen IF the clipper is farther towards the MO River in E Nebraska. Then we don’t get into that warm “tongue” of air and we stay colder in the atmosphere from the bottom up.
That would increase the snow risk. The ICON model does do this to some extent…
Also note the push of colder air in NE, that is coming southwards regardless for Monday before it releases on Tuesday and we warm back up to the 50s perhaps next week.
So this will be what we watch: IF things pan out we could get a dusting to 2″ from this. IF we don’t stay in the cold air, I could see a way we get a mix or even some rain.
The issue then would be how quickly we turn cold and will we have the chance of flash freezing on Monday morning with wet pavement as the colder air surges back in.
It’s possible though that the pavement could dry out in time as well. So a few things on the table there.
I’ll give you updates Friday night and Alex will be watching this for the weekend.
The feature photo is from Betty Roth… a unique shot of a stuck leaf that was spinning around in the snow and the wind: