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February 7, 12:30 PM Weather Forecast Update

Here is your latest forecast update on snow & cold ahead...

Posted: Feb 6, 2021 11:56 AM
Updated: Feb 6, 2021 4:25 PM

Winter Weather Advisory is up for Benton, Newton & Jasper counties for the snow this evening to early tonight & then some blowing & drifting snow.

Overall, temperatures look to average below normal for the next 12 days with multiple opportunities for snow & even ice.

However, the worst of the cold will be buffetted by other players on the court, confining the worst of it northwest of our area (see discussion below).

Lows this morning ran -4 to 11.  The coldest locations were Winamac & Morocco, the warmest location was Covington.

Temperatures are 14-25 as of noon. Highs should reach 21-30 north to south.

We will cloud up with time this afternoon-evening & much of the snow will fall between 9 pm & midnight.

1-3"of snowfall is expected.  The trend now is to focus the heaviest band west & northwest of the area.  3-6" is possible from northeastern Missouri & southeastern Iowa to northern Illinois.

Of that 1-3", it appears that the higher end totals will occur in our northwestern counties in the Winter Weather Advisory area.

After 11 p.m., winds may gust 25-35 mph at times from the northwest leading to blowing & drifting of the dry, powdery snow.  Winds will be sustained at 10-15 mph.

Temperatures will tank to -4 to 4 northwest to southeast over the area by tomorrow morning with wind chills -26 to -15.  These are dangerous wind chills, so greatly limit any time outside Sunday morning & layer up, covering exposed skin.

With partly cloudy skies & diminishing wind, highs Sunday should reach 8-16 north to south.

After 4-10 Sunday evening, temperatures will rise Sunday night-Monday morning to 10-17 with a south breeze.

Highs of 27-32 are likely Monday with afternoon-evening to night snow.

1-3" is possible.

North to northwest wind to 35 mph Monday night-Tuesday morning will cause blowing & drifting snow.

A few lingering snow showers are possible Tuesday from subtle shortwave & also Lake Michigan with highs 20-29 north to south (around 24 at Greater Lafayette).

It is a good set up for an ice storm late next week from Texas to the mid-Atlantic (possibly New England).

60s & 70s are likely across the Southeast with 50s to southeastern Massachusetts with 80s in Florida.  Severe weather is possible in the South & over Florida.

Meanwhile, 20s air will occur just north of that area in Arkansas to Tennessee to West Virginia.

Record cold is likely over the Northern Plains with lows in North Dakota & Minnesota to -38 (actual air temperature!!) under extraordinary 1046 mb surface Arctic high.

Here, looks like dry weather Wednesday with highs 15-22 & morning lows 7-12, then 21-26 Thursday.

Snow is possible Thursday.  Amounts are uncertain, however.

Highs Friday should run 8-15 with northwest winds gusting 35-45 mph with widespread blowing & drifting snow & wind chills -12 to -4.

A latest dig into my analog data & a look at CIPS analog out of St. Louis University shows that some models are overdoing the cold too far to the south.

My analog & CIPS supports the European model, which tends to lock the worst of the cold up in the Northern Plains rather than spill it south.  The GFS is very aggressive will spilling in record cold from the Plains to the South to our area in multiple historic outbreaks ranking up in the worst in history with snow into the Gulf of Mexico.  No way.....

I do not agree.

Here is the probability of us dropping to a low of -10 by mid-February per CIPS, which is in agreement my analog in similar years.

I do think the probability of getting to -30 in the Northern Plains is HIGH, so these %s should be much higher there.  I do think that northwest Illinois has a great opportunity at -23.

Probability of -10 or lower:

However, probability of dropping below 0 is high:

So, that said, widespread below to well-below temperatures are expected over the next 12 days.

We will drop below 0 at night a few times with wind chills less than -15.

After late next week system, another similar system is possible with snow or ice here around February 17-18 followed by a big warm-up with rain.

We will monitor.  There is still a chance that this analog data is off & the Euro is off, but I have too much evidence to suggest otherwise.

GFS seems too aggressive.  Euro seems like a much better match.  Cold indeed, but not record cold or historic cold.

You can see we are in strong, solid Phase 6 to then 7 MJO phases to late February.

The only MJO driver is the above normal precipitation......certainly not the warmth (see below):

Phases 6-7 are warm phases of the MJO here:

They are also wet phases:

Even the NAO is neutral to positive.  Negative usually means cold for eastern U.S.

Piece of the loose Polar Vortex due to SSW (two warming events have been observed since early January) event tied to ozone near the North Pole is the driver of the cold when the other factors appear to be fightning it.  Some Greenland blocking is also allowing a pieces of that vortex to make it to the Northern Plains & spread cold southward.


Pretty impressive given strength of MJO & the NAO phases warm phase.

AO has been negative since December, so not the best measure of the cold pattern, but it going much more negative indicates that there is some Greenland blocking.  This is assisting in letting cold southward.  Note how it goes toward more nutral in late February, which typically means much warmer weather headed for eastern U.S.

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Warmest weather since December is ahead with good timing with the weekend rainfall...
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