Skies are cloudy & we have had some spits of flurries so far in parts of the area with gusty winds from the west & southwest of 20-30 mph.
Wave of flurries & snow showers is just northwest of the viewing area over Wisconsin & northern Illinois. This will swing through this evening & tonight. It will depart late & skies should clear with temperatures tanking behind this clipper's Arctic cold front. Wind will be gusting up to 30 mph at times just ahead of & behind the front with temperatures dropping to -6 to 0 over much of the area.
Dusting/coating of accumulation may be put down. Some slick spots are possible. However, ma good part of it will be so dry & fluffy & powdery (& not too much will fall), so it will blow off of pavement.
Wave of snow showers will dive southeastward & pass Friday evening to early Saturday morning with another clipper.
The potential is there for this one to drop up to 1" of snow over part of the viewing area.
It will actually warm ahead of this system. After highs of only 7-13 Friday, it should warm to 15-20 as this approaches & passes Friday evening-night.
The good thing is that there will not be a lot of wind with this wave of snow showers & behind it, winds will run 10-15 mph. Highs Saturday should remain pretty steady in the teens to lower 20s.
Note the band of heavier +2" snowfall in central Illinois from this clipper. We will need to monitor that. Where the best frontagenetical forcing occurs, some amount could reach 4" there if this pans out as expected.
Another clipper system is likely Sunday. Up to 1" of snow could fall from it.
Another, more vigorous clipper with a lot of wind, will impact the area Monday-Tuesday.
The track is very important as there will be a band of heavy snow with +6" due to very intense frontagenetical forcing. It is unclear where that will occur.
Here, it looks like snow to ice to some ice/rain to snow with at least some accumulations of snow & ice possible. Winds will be be strong & gusty up to 35 mph with the system.
After a quick rise to the 30s Monday, the coldest air of the winter so far will roar in.
Temperatures will fall all day through the teens & single digits Tuesday.
Some areas will not even make it above 0 for highs Wednesday or Thursday.
Wind chills may bottom out at -40 to -30 with actual air temperatures potentially dropping to as low as -23.
This looks like the coldest weather since the major cold wave of January 2014, but ranks up there with the major cold waves of 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1985, 1994 & 1996.
Projected wind chills Wednesday morning:
Actual air temperatures HIGHS on Thursday:
A couple of clippers may bring some minor accumulating snowfall February 1 & 2 as it stays cold (but temperatures moderate a bit from historical levels of -23 to more like teens to lower 20s).
In early February, there are strong hints of a sudden, significant thaw. It looks very short-lived with litterly 36 hours of much warmer temperatures with rain. Near 50 to the 50s are likely with this rain, but period of ice may precede it.
However, bitter cold should follow with more temperatures below zero with snowfall. I think that rounds of cold & snow over & over may continue through February to March.
I think we could get snowfall down to the Gulf Coast, even northern Florida in some of these cold waves. Multiple major Nor'Easters could also occur with FEET of snow over the Northeast, especially in February.
Just like in 2014, ice jams on streams will become an issue & the Wabash may largely freeze over. Frost quakes & broken pipes will also be issues to think about.
Longer-range models have snow depths of 2-5" even toward the end of February.
I think we could see the pattern finally break down to a period of much milder weather with a lack of cold protrustion beginning around March 12.