Winter Returns Monday, Tricky Forecast

Good Sunday bloggers,

Sunday is starting 60 degrees warmer than it was Wednesday morning.  When you factor in the wind chill it is 80 degrees warmer! We are in for another big change as colder air heads south at the same time a series of storm systems come in from the Pacific Ocean, track east into the Rockies and then through the Plains and Midwest.

The forecast is tricky for many reasons. These systems will bring rain south, ice in the middle and snow north. The locations of the precipitation types is dependent on how deep the cold air gets in your area. It also depends on the track and strength of these systems.  That is about every variable we look at. So, basically, we have to take this forecast one day at a time. Below we will give you our latest thinking.

First, do you remember before October 5th how dry it was? We were in a drought just as the old pattern was ending. Then, a new pattern, the 2018-19 LRC, began to get it’s act together and the drought was wiped out in 10 days. This was the start of an active weather pattern and it is still cycling along.  We have received 17″ of rain (melted snow/ice) which is a bit over 9″ above average. Granted, this above average precipitation is mostly due to October, but it is hard to see heavy precipitation totals during the winter.  Now, let’s get to the active week ahead.


SUNDAY: It will be mostly cloudy, windy and mild with highs around 60°. If we see any sun this afternoon highs will reach the low to mid 60s. If you are headed out this evening to a Superbowl party, the weather looks great. Temperatures will be around 60° and windy.


EARLY MONDAY MORNING: The first of two cold front will sweep through. Temperatures will be in the 50s, but drop to the 30s by afternoon. The second cold front will merge with the first one pretty rapidly. We may see a few showers or some drizzle ahead of the first cold front.


MONDAY AFTERNOON/EVENING: It will become mostly sunny, but colder, with temperatures in the 30s along with a north wind at 10-25 mph.


TUESDAY: This is when the forecast becomes quite a challenge. The first system will bring a few freezing rain and sleet showers around noon. They will move east and become more widespread. So, not only are we on the western edge of this storm, but temperatures will be critical. If it stays below freezing we could see some slick roads. If it rises to 32 or higher, then we will have just rain and wet roads.


WEDNESDAY: A second system tracks across the region with snow north, ice in the middle and rain south. This data has our area in the rain with temperatures in the mid 30s. What if it is in the mid 20?  Well, we could see freezing rain and sleet. Also, how strong is this storm?  And, so many other questions.


THURSDAY: A third system is possible and this data has us in the colder air, but the storm tracking south.  All of these systems will bring some amount of rain, ice and snow. We just need to figure out where and how much? Be patient and let’s take it one day at a time.


Have a great week.

Jeff Penner

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