Regional Weather Outlook 1-31-17

Corn Belt weather:

  • Strong low pressure is moving across the Great Lakes this morning but an unexpected bump in temps has limited the snow to MI, with rain falling in southern MI, northern IN, and northern OH, but cold air likely moves in and changes it back to snow.
  • Liquid equivalent totals will be no more than .25”, but there will be gusty winds which could cause some lake enhancement with blowing snow possible.
  • Strong high pressure moves in behind this and is in control for most of the rest of this week and weekend.
  • Some unsettled air will move over the Upper Midwest so we can’t rule out light snow in WI, northern MN, and northern MI.
  • The high works out of SD and into the western Corn Belt starting tomorrow afternoon-Saturday, giving us a cold and dry period as it’s a Canadian high.
  • For example, temps in the northern plains are going down to the single digits, where they haven’t been there for 3-4 weeks, and those cold temps will be in the Corn Belt as well.
  • Some changes begin this weekend as light moisture begins to move up the backside of the high pressure dome, bringing sprinkles/light precip to MN, IA, and MO on Saturday afternoon-night.
  • This does turn into more organized rain in the southern Corn Belt areas like KY, MO, southern IL, and southern IN by Sunday, with .25 to one-third of an inch totals likely staying south of I-64 in a lot of areas.
  • A low pressure system next week looks like it may turn into a big one; moving into the western Corn Belt on Tuesday and tracks across the rest of the Corn Belt Tuesday night-Wednesday.
  • It brings strong winds of 20-40 MPH with it and a push of warm air, which means the precipitation likely begins with rain and even thunderstorms along the leading edge of the system over MO, IL, IN, and up into MI; heavy rains in these areas could total .5-1.5” of rain, but if it lingers a bit it could push totals up to 2” or more.
  • Along the top and backside of the system will be a massive push of cold air, which means this could turn into a major blowing snow event from Wednesday-Thursday.
  • The track looks to move from northeast KS Tuesday up into Ontario on Wednesday morning; that track means snow for parts of IA, southern MN, and into WI.
  • The winds will be the most impressive part of the event as my initial estimate of 20-40 MPH might not be enough along the backside of the system; winds may top 50 MPH along the backside of the system coming down out of the north if this system continues to develop the way it’s looking right now.
  • I don’t normally like to make major changes based on one model run, but this system looks to be in the right place at the right time; I’ve been saying that we will see a major push back to below normal temps in February and this is the right kind of system to kick that off.
  • Temps behind it get cold in a hurry, with bitter cold air moving in out of Canada and start to take control over a good chunk of the country next Wednesday afternoon-Thursday.


Deep South weather:

  • Fairly calm in the Deep South here today with high pressure sitting just off the Gulf Coast over the FL peninsula and be in control through Friday.
  • Some scattered light precipitation moves up the backside of the high on Friday out west in AR and LA, likely .25” or less.
  • Over the weekend, a strong high in the Corn Belt pushes east and moisture starts to work up the backside of that, with moisture in MO Saturday night-Sunday, as well as AR, western KY, and western TN on Sunday, moving into VA and NC Sunday night-Monday.
  • Moisture totals will be .25 to 1/3” over the northern part of the Deep South with nothing in the southern regions.
  • Next week could be a lot more of a stormy pattern; Strong winds develop Monday night-Tuesday with a strong low pressure system pushing northeast across the Corn Belt and a cold front coming out of that will work through the Deep South from Wednesday-Friday.
  • Rain totals could be .5-2” with some strong to severe weather likely and 100% coverage.
  • The system will exit the southeast coast at midday on Thursday, followed by a strong surface high and temps a little bit cool, but not bitterly cold.
  • The freezing line gets as far south as TN on Thursday afternoon but it’s not a cold air push that will reach the Gulf Coast.


Great Plains weather:

  • High pressure is in control over the short term, but some light precipitation may pop up in eastern WY, western NE panhandle, northeast CO, and southwest SD tomorrow with light snow but nothing dramatic as high pressure dominates the rest of the plains through the end of this week.
  • Disturbed weather tries to develop in the eastern plains this weekend and works into the western Corn Belt with light rains/snows, but nothing major.
  • The bigger story comes with a system that develops next week with strong low pressure moving across the central plains on Tuesday, bringing some big snows over ND, with several inches of accumulation likely along with some blowing and drifting.
  • The low is going to have a pretty significant dry slot working in it, meaning places like KS, NE, OK, and TX may not see a lot of precipitation, but cold air advances quickly, bringing blowing snow to NE, western half of KS, and eastern CO from Tuesday night-Wednesday.
  • It if finds more moisture, this will turn into a much bigger storm complex and a bigger problem for the central plains, but as of right now the blizzard event will be in ND Monday-early Tuesday, moving into the eastern Dakotas and northern MNTuesday afternoon-Wednesday; those areas will see some of the heaviest snowfall and winds of 25-50 MPH.
  • The system moves east quickly and by Wednesday afternoon, and strong cold high pressure takes control and holds through the rest of next week, with temps below zero through the I-90 corridor, and temps freezing or below down through KS and OK.

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