Winter 2012-2013 Snow Update (Jan 4)


Posted under Precipitation Totals

This post was written by Schnack on January 4, 2013

Weather Hot Shots on Fri. January 4

Submit your weather Hot Shot by clicking here.
One photo is shown on the 5 pm newscast and one on the 10 pm newscast.


Posted under Hot Shots, Photo

This post was written by Schnack on January 4, 2013

A January Thaw

UPDATED at 4:00 PM

Tonight: Clear. Low: 8-14. Wind: SW 5-10 mph.

Saturday: Increasing clouds with flurries possible in the PM. High: 28-39. Wind: SW 10-15 mph.

Saturday Night: Flurrie before midnght followed by decreasing clouds and breezy. Low: 11-18. Wind: NW 10-20 mph

Sunday: Mostly sunny. High: low 20s.

Monday: Mostly sunny and windy (SW 15-25 mph). High: low 30s.

Tuesday: Mostly cloudy. High: low-mid 30s.

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy. High: mid 30s.

Thursday: Mostly cloudy with a 20% chance of rain/snow and breezy (S 10-25 mph). High: mid 30s.

Friday: Mostly cloudy and breezy (N 10-20 mph). High: upper 20s.

This morning we started out with a clear sky and temperatures in the single digits (see map below).

Normal highs this time of year are in the upper 20s. As we get towards the end of the month our average high temperature will start to go up. Starting Monday we are in the coldest time of the year by 0.1 degree (see chart below…click it to enlarge).

We are tracking a cold front still forecast to push through Iowa Saturday afternoon. Clouds will increase through the day with a few flurries possible as the front crosses eastern Iowa late in the afternoon. Flurries are still possible until midnight. Here is the forecast position of the front Saturday evening.

The clouds will slowly clear Saturday night after the front pushes east. More dry weather is to continue through Wednesday with high temperatures in the 30s. Some locations south of Cedar Rapids could be in the low 40s.

We are tracking a potential storm for the end of the week. The computer models are not helping very much in the extended forecast. The three longer range computer models are not consistent on the outcome at all. The Canadian model (GEM) is fast and pushes the storm into southeast Canada by noon Wednesday. The second is the American model (GFS) and that has the low in Indiana by noon Wednesday. Finally the European model (ECMWF) has the low in Texas at noon on Wednesday. As you can see from the description above and the maps below…they are all very different.


The GEM and GFS seems a bit too fast in each direction. The ECMWF is a slower solution and has been handling the situation better.  High pressure along the east coast will slow the progression of the low in the southwest. The forecast will be based on mainly the ECMWF. We are still many days away and there is time for the computer models to get a better handle on the storm. I hope the models are not this far apart by the middle of next week.

Anyway, so this means rain will move into Iowa Thursday and mix or chance over to snow Thursday night. It is hard to get too specific this far out and with low confidence in the computer models. We will continue to track the situation and have more information as the day gets closer. 

The one thing we do know is that most of next week we will see highs near or above freezing giving us a January thaw.


Posted under Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Schnack on January 4, 2013

January 4

From NWS
: 0.01 inches of rain fell at the Des Moines airport ending a station record streak of 53 consecutive days without measurable precipitation that began on November 12th of the previous year.

1971: A severe blizzard struck the region on January 3-4 with snowfalls of 10 to 15 inches across much of Iowa and some locations receiving around 20 inches. Winds gusting to 50 mph or higher and temperatures dropping below zero combined to produce wind chills of -40 to -70 F. The state was virtually paralyzed as highways were closed and thousands of motorists were stranded. Storm total snowfall amounts included 15.7 inches at Des Moines, 15.8 inches at Waterloo, 16.0 inches at Greenfield and Grundy Center, 17.0 inches at Ames, Hampton, and Marshalltown, 17.5 inches at Audubon, 18.0 inches at Allison and Clarion, and 20.0 inches at Clarinda. In Iowa 27 deaths were attributed to the storm and the statewide average snowfall of 10.4 inches was the second-highest of any storm on record in Iowa, only behind the blizzard of March 10-14, 1951.

This Day in National/World Weather History …
 4 January 1780 → A major snowstorm pounded Morristown, NJ keeping General Washington and his troops stuck at their headquarters.
 4 January 1917 → At 11am an F3 tornado destroyed a Choctaw Indian Baptist Mission school at Vireton, OK, in the eastern part of the state. Fifteen school children, ranging in age from 6 to 18, were killed.


Posted under Weather History

This post was written by Schnack on January 4, 2013