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That's right! A snowstorm is on its way for Saturday and Sunday. Snowfall maps right now are really hard to predict so there will be a update around noon tomorrow that will be almost exact in amounts. The current prediction has gone up due to the latest 12z model runs for the NAM and GFS. There will be a large area of 12"-18" on the South Dakota Nebraska boarder, and a small band of 8"-12" going through Minnesota. There will be a sharp gradient which is the main reason this is so hard to predict, and the fact that it is going to start as rain and turn to snow. You may think "Why is the mainstream media weather prediction so much less?" They usually are less because they don't want the risk of over predicting snow (like in previous events) and getting lots of hate from people, they will tend to under predict the snow to stay safe. For example, in the Iowa snowstorm the mainstream weather stations predicted 6"-8" for the snowstorm while I said 12"-18" and in the end they got widespread 14"-18" totals. My prediction was also 3 days before the event, that proves how my hardcore research pays off. And that is why you may see such under predicted totals. So remember to check in tomorrow for the final forecast
The first big snowstorm of the winter is here for most of the Midwest with some areas getting up to 15 inches! A low pressure system from the Colorado Rockies will bring cold air along with moisture bringing the perfect conditions for snow. The snow will start around 2 pm in western Iowa and slowly make its way through Illinois and Michigan by the end of Monday. this will be a big one, and the Dakotas, Minnesota, and much of Wisconsin will miss out on it. But they will have a chance at a similar storm next week ;)
Another low pressure system is coming from the north west that will bring anywhere from 1 to 9 inches for the upper midwest on friday night through saturday morning. The low pressure system will track from the dakotas moving southeast bringing cold air and snow with it. north dakota has the best chance of snow by seeing 6+ inches in many locations, and the swath will continue just south of the twin cities beinging 3-6 inches in most areas. we could see one 7+ inch snow fall total in minnesota, but right now tracks are showing that the system will die down as it moves along.
The first snow for many in the midwest will hit on the 8th and 9th. Ranging from 1 inch to 6 inches. There is a low pressure system coming from the south west, along with the jet stream lowering causing the huge cold blast will result in accumulating snow! regarding the snow, daily highs in the upper midwest will stay below freezing (including tuesdays forcast high of 19 for minneapolis!) for the the next week or two before going up above freezing for a bit, then we get into the real start of winter. Most of the areas in this snows path will see 1"-3" unless you are in the UP of Michigan which could see 6+ in!
It's about that time, when everyone is asking, what will the winter be like? Well, we have some of the answers you are looking for. The winter forecast is not as clear cut as some years in the past, but there are some trends out there that show clues into what the fine winter enthusiasts of this site should expect.
First, let's start with the process into how the outlook was constructed. We will use 4 major teleconnections that are useful to forecast the weather out several months to a year in the future. The most influential and most common lies in the level that ENSO is expected to be in. ENSO is essentially a measure of how warm the ocean temperatures are in the Central Pacific. If the specific region is warmer than normal it is classified as an El Nino, colder is classified as a La Nina, and near normal is in the neutral phase. The phase tends to flip from El Nino to La Nina every 8 month to over a year at times. For our purposes in the winter forecast, we are currently in the neutral phase and expected to trend towards an El Nino moving into winter. Consequently, we will only use years that followed the same trend.
The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is a similar measure or oscillation that goes from the warm to cold stage every 5-10+ years, and examines ocean temperatures in the northern Pacific. It is near neutral and is likely to hover around the neutral stage through the winter, we will give it 2x weight. The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) is similar to the PDO, and should stay in the warm phase through 2019, as its period of change can be well over a decade. Since the AMO is a measure in the North Atlantic, we will use less of a weight, since it is downstream of the weather in the United States. Finally the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) is a regular variation in the wind direction near the equator located in the stratosphere and can influence the weather around the world. It is a wind that blows in the same direction for roughly 14 months then completely flips direction. Based on history, the QBO should eventually flip direction, which should occur sometime during the winter, so years with a flip from negative to positive during the winter will be used for the forecast.
Putting it all together, 5 similar years since 1950 were looked at then averaged against the values from the entire period. Essentially, the map above is what we may expect in terms of temperatures during the months of December through February this winter. Notice the colder air from the Plains down through the Southeast. Some warmer temperatures are housed in the Great Lakes, but overall cooler than normal temperatures are expected this winter across the Midwest.
Looking and precipitation now, we see an above normal signal across the Midwest, and a well above normal signal across the West Coast. Colder than normal and above normal precipitation will also favor above normal snowfall overall. However, notice there are some southwest to northeast strips of above/below normal areas east of the Rockies. It may signal the risk for larger storm systems, and more hit/miss events in aggregate through the winter season. At the end of the day, slightly above normal snowfall is favored, but as always it will come down to where each individual storm track goes. There will be an above normal amount of chances for snow this winter, so be sure to keep up to date with Midwest Weather through the winter, as the blog becomes much more active. Credit to Tanner Verstegen at http://www .midwestweather.org/ and follow him on Twitter and Facebook for more great weather predicting! My own 2018-2019 weather outlook will be up by Nov. 9th!