Thursday, December 10, 2009

Noon Weather Update

To steal the line from "Good Morning Vietnam" (with a twist)... Its cold! Its dang cold!

The arctic air has arrived on cue. We have been talking about it on-air for several days leading up to its arrival. (So don't say you didn't have a heads up. haha)

*Interesting statistic: Did you know that 53% of the country is sitting under snow today?

At 12pm CT, temperatures around the Midwest range from:
  • Cedar Rapids, IA 1°
  • Chicago, IL 4°
  • Indianapolis, IN 18°
  • Mt. Vernon, IL 21°
  • St. Louis, MO 23°
  • Carbondale, IL 25°
  • Farmington, MO 25°
  • Cape Girardeau, MO 25°
  • Paducah, KY 25°
  • Poplar Bluff, MO 27°
  • Blytheville, AR 28°
Those are actual air temperatures, not wind chills. Winds had been fairly calm this morning, but in the last 50 minutes the winds have begun to increase from Farmington, MO to Mt. Vernon, IL. Around southeast Missouri and southern Illinois wind chill numbers are down in to the single digits at times.

Now the big question, "When do we start to warm-up?". Take a look at what NOAA's Global Forecast Model is indicating. (see below)

The red line indicates air temperature. The green line indicates the dew point temperature. The green/blue vertical bars are precipitation. The grey blocks are clouds.

A couple of things to note... First, at least for me, take a look at the dew points. They are low. That is what happens with arctic air masses. Cold air doesn't hold moisture very well. That is why we get a lot of "static days" in the winter. When the cold air comes down over the north pole and through Canada it is moisture starved. There is some good news if you have been using lots of hand lotion for dry skin, the humidity should start to increase Saturday evening through Monday.

Now for the temperatures... Follow the red line (right to left). Notice daytime temperatures start to increase as early as Friday. Winds turning out of the west will help us start a slow warm-up. If we had more northerly/northwesterly winds we would continue to stay frigid. The westerly winds will flow over non-snow land whereas northerly/northwesterly winds would flow over a heavy snow pack which would keep the air cold.

If this model is to be believed, we will be in the mid-40's by the weekend and perhaps the 50's by Monday.

Yes, there is some green on the model. The GFS is hinting at rain returning to the area by Saturday evening then another round Sunday night through Monday. When looking at how much the model is pumping out only 0.11" of liquid. That isn't very much.

Before you ask, yes, there is a blue bar on the model. That would indicate snow. However, look at temperatures, you can see there is a big fall off late Monday night and early Tuesday morning. This would be a cold front moving through the area and bringing in cold air on the back side. If there is any moisture left over we could see some snow showers. However, in these scenerios, this rarely works out.

(I should note that the above model depiction is for Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Other locations will vary slightly.)

As I like to say... Stay tuned.

Personally, I like the cold air. It is winter. It is supposed to be cold. I say, "Make it even colder!" I know I am in the minority. haha I would also like to see a couple of big snow storms move through this winter. Hmm... Maybe five 10" snow's would be awesome!

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