I dare say without even looking at the dates one could easily guess which of the two snow cover maps on the right are from this year and which one is from last year. In fact, it was around this time last year that there was at least some snow on the ground in every state except Florida. Talk about what a difference a year can make; and the difference was even more remarkable just a couple of days ago before the recent, big snowstorm hit Colorado and Nebraska.

Oh well, at least we have returned to more seasonal temperatures after the extremely mild weather of this past week. The cloudy skies today have kept us with a very short thermometer and the clouds are expected to hang around until Sunday morning when they should start thinning out. Brisk NW winds through the overnight hours are bringing somewhat colder air into the state so we should start off near the freezing mark Sunday morning. We will keep a rather brisk northerly wind through Sunday, but there should be enough afternoon sunshine for daytime temperatures to rebound back to near the 50 degree mark.

Monday looks to be a pretty nice day with only some high level cirrus clouds, light southerly winds, and near normal temperatures. Our next cold front is still on track to arrive during the afternoon hours of Tuesday so we should start the day with southerly winds which will be shifting to the NW and becoming gusty after frontal passage. Temperatures will have moderated into the 50s ahead of the front followed by another cool down for Wednesday. .

The precipitation guidance for late Tuesday into early Wednesday morning remains rather inconsistent with one solution suggesting the possibility of snow or a rain/snow mix and another solution keeping us basically dry. The forcing does not appear to be all that impressive, and moisture is limited, so am keeping the 20% PoP in the forecast to account for the uncertainty during that time frame. If we do get some wintry precipitation out of this system, it is expected to be very limited in coverage and amounts.

After that, the rest of the week looks to be dry and generally seasonal with respect to temperatures. Another system aloft may cause some light rain showers for the extreme southern counties late in the week, but right now it appears that the rest of us will just see some clouds and will stay dry. By Saturday, our winds should be returning to a more southerly component which will moderate temperatures somewhat.

There is still no indication of an arctic outbreak that would be headed our way anytime soon. Colder air will be spilling into the lower 48 over the next two weeks, but so far all indication suggest that the brunt of that will be east of us and we will just continue to get glancing blows.

In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot