AFTERNOON UPDATE: Saturday, March 23, 2013, 2:52 p.m.
A “Winter Weather Advisory” goes into effect at midnight tonight and runs through 7 p.m. for the following counties in Iowa: Des Moines, Henry, and Lee, and for the Illinois counties of Hancock, Henderson, McDonough, and Warren. For Knox and Stark counties, that “Winter Weather Advisory” runs from 1 a.m Sunday until 1 a.m. Monday.
As for snow amounts, I think based on the latest information that we should shave about an inch off the totals from the Quad Cities northward and about 2″ off the totals in the far south. That still means about an inch north to about 1-3″ in the Quad Cities and along Interstate 80, and about 2-4″ south. Isolated higher totals are still possible.
Have a great rest of your weekend.
ORIGINAL POST: Saturday, March 23, 2013, 9:23 a.m.
I’m a firm believer that people (even politicians) can change or, at least, educate themselves to see both sides of an argument.
Earlier in the week, I got on the bandwagon with many others of blaming our late season cold and upcoming snow on Punxsutawney Phil, the Pennsylvania groundhog, that made his forecast February 2nd that we’d see an early spring!
It’s gotten out of hand. There have been calls for him to be brought up on criminal charges, he’s wanted dead or alive, and there are even pictures on Facebook that he’s been attacked and injured!
I apologize for blaming him for our weather misfortunes: In the Quad Cities, this March, our temperatures have not even hit 50°once and are running 8.3° below average, and, as of this writing, this is the sixth coldest March on record in the metro area and those records go back to the late-1800s!
Now, the madness has to stop!
Phil is right. He was never trained to analyze weather charts, satellites, radars, and learn the physics of the atmosphere. How dare humans take this cuddly little critter and put so much pressure on him!
As a meteorologist, I’ve blown a forecast before and I’ll do it again. And, with that being said, there are other meteorologists that blow every storm out of proportion and every snow event becomes the “storm of the century” and every spring thunderstorm develops tornadic potential. Do people hold those forecasters to the same ridicule as Phil? No!
But, I’ll say that it’s pretty bad when you make only one forecast a year and you’re wrong. That doesn’t do much for your forecasting accuracy! It’s either 0% or 100%, so you can’t afford to be wrong. You just have to hide out again for another year!
So, with that being said, let’s ease up a little on that Pennsylvania rodent and talk about the snow potential here in eastern Iowa and northern Illinois tonight and Sunday.
As of Saturday morning, a “Winter Storm Watch” goes into effect later this evening for counties just south of the Quad Cities. I do expect this “Watch” to become a “Winter Weather Advisory” later today and for the aerial coverage to expand northward.
Here’s the bottom line: Nice weather is expected today with mostly sunny skies giving way to increasing clouds from south to north. Highs will make it to 35°-40° far north, 40°-45° in the Quad Cities, and 42°-47° in the far south.
A rain and snow mix will develop later this evening across the south and progress northward. With the relatively mild day and warm ground in the south, snow accumulations will not begin until later tonight.
Snow will fall tonight and most of Sunday before winding down Sunday night from southwest to northeast across the area.
My snow forecast totals (or “snotals”) have not changed from when I first brought them to you Friday morning on “CBS4 News This Morning” (and for those watch us, thank you).
As with any winter storm event, there could be a few isolated higher totals.
Enjoy your weekend and make the best of this snow. For those that are ready for spring, this could be the last snow of the season. For those that want the snow, it might not be. 🙂
For Phil’s sake, I hope it’s the last snow. I can’t keep blogging in his defense if real spring weather doesn’t arrive soon!