Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Strong Storm System Next Week?

The main weather story for the remainder of the week into the weekend is the milder temperatures that are in store. As high pressure builds to our south and southeast, a ridge will form in the Central United States. As a result, southwest winds will bump warmer air into the Southwest, Southern Plains, and Midwest. While the Stateline is not in the center of that "warmer" category, we are on the fringe, which means milder than average temperatures will occur as we round out this week and head into the weekend.

That means high temperatures will be in the middle to upper 30's with a few days possibly seeing highs in the lower 40's, especially south of the Illinois-Wisconsin border. Lows will likely be in the 20's and 30's during this stretch, which is well above normal for late January and early February. This pattern will eventually be broken down, and that will happen early next week.

A low will form in California and traverse into Colorado Sunday into Monday. As it does so, it will strengthen rapidly and draw in plentiful Gulf of Mexico moisture. As a result, once the low moves out into the Plains, it will have a lot of precipitation to dump. All forms of precipitation are likely with this system. Heavy snow from Colorado to Wisconsin, heavy rain from the Gulf Coast into Illinois, and even some severe weather is possible to our south early next week.
There will also be warmer air being drawn into the system, which means any location near or south of the low's exact track will likely see warm enough temperatures to see plain rain as the dominant precipitation type. And, as of now, that looks like the most probably outcome for Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. While it is still nearly a week away, models have been consistent in showing this system move right over the area, which would place the Stateline in an area favorable for rain. However, it is important to note that the entire event won't be rain. It is possible that we start off as snow or a mix before the warmer air arrives and changes us back to rain Monday into Tuesday. It also appears some light snow flurries will end the event Tuesday night into Wednesday.

Again, this is still nearly a week out, but confidence is continuing to grow in a significant storm system affecting the Midwest, Great Lakes, Plains, and Mississippi Valley early next week with anything from heavy snow to rain to severe thunderstorms. Determining the exact outcome for any one location is not 100% possible yet, but confidence is growing regarding the Stateline seeing more rain than anything else. Stay tuned!

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