It’s been a tough week for meteorologists, especially those in the Northeast.
They were battered more by the public than by snow when a “historic” blizzard was not as widespread as originally forecast. Nevertheless, some locations picked up more than two feet of snow and saw wind gusts above hurricane force of 74 miles-per-hour.
Back at home, in the Midwest, all week I’ve been advertising a weekend snow event that could be a little bit of snow if the northern and southern jet streams stayed north and south, respectively, or several inches to a nice, shovelable snow if the jets merged near Iowa and Illinois.
It seemed like every computer model run contradicted the previous run. Finally, Friday morning, less than 36 hours before the snow commenced, more consistency prompted me to go with this snowfall projection.
OLD SNOWFALL PROJECTIONS
After analyzing data Friday afternoon, I believe that we’ll see even more snow that I was thinking this morning!
Here’s what me and my cohort in crime, CBS4 Chief Meteorologist Andy McCray and I are thinking for snowfall totals.
NEW SNOWFALL PROJECTIONS
It now looks like 4-6″ of snow will fall across our northwestern hometowns, 6-8″ for much of the area, including the Quad Cities.
Some locations to the southeast of the metro area could see closer to 10″ of snow! Also, remember with any snowstorm, isolated higher totals are possible.
TIMING OF THE STORM
Precipitation should begin Saturday afternoon first across our southern hometowns as a rain and snow mix. By evening, it will continue to move northward and quickly change over to snow.
Snow is likely Saturday night into early Sunday with moderate to heavy intensity snow falling, especially from the Quad Cities southward.
This is GFS forecast map for 6 a.m. Sunday with the moderate to heavy snow in the darker shades of green.
In addition to the heavy accumulation of snow, the winds will become blustery and that will cause blowing snow to make driving even more difficult.
Around midday Friday, the Quad Cities’ National Weather Service office issued a “Winter Storm Watch” from Saturday evening through Sunday evening.
If the snowfall projections look certain by early Saturday morning, I suspect that the “Watch” will be upgraded to a “Winter Storm Warning” for the counties expecting the heavier snow.
WHERE WE STAND NOW ON SNOWFALL
As of today, January 30th, we’re up to 19.1″ of snow this winter, which is about where we should be at this point in the season (19.6″). It’s a far cry from where we were at last year at this time (32.5″).
THINK BACK TO FOUR YEARS AGO!
It could be worse if you don’t like snow.
Tomorrow’s start of the snow marks the four-year anniversary of the beginning of the big three-day snowstorm that ended on Groundhog Day 2011.
After picking up 1.9″ January 31st, an astounding 14.8″ fell on February 1st, and concluded with 1.9″ on February 2nd.
That 18.4″ storm tied the largest single storm in Quad City weather history. The other one was in January 1979.
AND, IF ALL ELSE FAILS….
If, for some reason (and I don’t think this will happen), the snow doesn’t materialize, we could declare Sunday as “French Toast Day” to use up all the eggs, bread, and milk stores sold in advance of the storm!
And, toilet paper doesn’t want to be forgotten!
This is my last update of the night unless something drastic comes in on the late evening model runs. Otherwise, I’ll post an update Saturday morning.
Have a great weekend.