So far this month, temperatures are running more than 20 degrees below normal and you might think that has had quite an effect on soil temperatures. Not necessarily, as the map on the right shows that soil temperatures are running generally at or above freezing at the 2 inch level. Despite how cold the air temperature has been, the snow acts as a pretty good insulator keeping the soil from getting much colder than freezing.
Speaking of snow, we may see some light snow or sleet during the day today, but so far most of what is falling from the sky is liquid and that is expected to remain the case. Locations along and south of I-40 will be receiving the bulk of that and any frozen precipitation will be minimal.
Monday should see some afternoon sunshine allowing temperatures to get above freezing and Tuesday also looks to have afternoon temperatures above the freezing mark.
Then there is Wednesday. Incoming data this morning is still pointing toward another significant winter weather event primarily during the day Wednesday. There may be some snow starting Tuesday night with the big show getting underway by Wednesday morning. As with the last event, the devil will be in the details and there remain some timing issues and total amount issues to be resolved.
One of the problems we are still facing is that the main storm system is currently out over the Pacific and will not be well sampled by our land based observational network until Monday. Having said that, so far the guidance has been very consistent and current trends paint the bulls-eye a little south of us. Even so, additional snowfall on the order of 5-10 inches appears likely with the higher amounts further south and lesser amounts further north.
After that, all indications suggest that the pattern will finally change in time for the coming weekend to be much warmer and that moderating trend should continue into the following week.
As always, stay tuned, stay warm, and check back for updates.