Friday, January 29, 2016

Rain and Wintry Mess Ahead

It was a quiet Friday with highs slightly above average. The milder temperatures continue this weekend with highs expected to warm into the lower and middle 40's as a result of strong southwesterly winds. A weak system will move through on Sunday and bring some light rain showers to the area. That system will have an impact on what we see next Tuesday with a potent storm system that has its eyes set on the Stateline. If the system on Sunday can strengthen enough and pull more cold air down from Canada on Monday, then Tuesday's system could feature more snow than rain. At this time, it is nearly impossible to infer whether or not Sunday's system will drag enough cold air in for a mainly snow event on Tuesday. What we do know is that a strong low will develop in Colorado and move northeastward towards Northern Illinois on Monday and Tuesday.

We also know that plenty of precipitation will fall with this system, regardless of what type. Lastly, we know that heavy snow and blizzard-like conditions will accompany this system to the north of the low's eventual track, and strong to severe thunderstorms will exist in the warm sector to the south of the low's eventual track. What we are still in the process of determining is the low's exact track, which is extremely difficult to do until the system makes landfall in the West and is accurately sampled by weather sensors. Right now, that system is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, which is why nailing down the forecast is not easy at this moment. It appears as though models are consistency believing that we will see a decent amount of wintry precipitation, but mentioning totals is not feasible at this time.

In the simplest terms, just be aware that Tuesday and Wednesday will be messy, and potentially hazardous. This will be a situation that will require you to check back many times as updates will continue to occur. After the system exits, plenty of colder air will filter in from Canada later next week. Highs will be in the teens and 20's with lows in the single digits!

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