Up Next: Winter To Unleash Brutal Assault On Illinois. Multiple Snow Systems and Potential Record Breaking Cold On The Way!
I have a favor to ask of you all. Don't shoot the messenger. If you want to, I'm currently armored up and typing this from a concrete bunker buried underground and it will be tough to find me. Anyways, remember that easy December and January's mild start? Yea, we're about to pay for that. Our last true brutal, prolonged winter assault came during the winter of 2013/14 - and what we're seeing in models will rival or even exceed that.
Basically that sums up the prevailing pattern about to take hold. Warmth is going to head to Alaska of all places which bumps the arctic air dome our way, allowing for repeated intrusions of brutal could and puts us in a favorable pattern for clipper snows as lobes of energy rotate around the arctic air dome and squeeze out what available moisture there is in the atmosphere.
We get our first taste of brutal cold Friday morning, when lows dip into the negative values across northern Illinois, accompanied by breezy conditions this could send wind chills into the -20s or -30s. We expect wind chill headlines to be issued in the coming days. Below is a look at Friday morning lows.
Following the cold will be our first little clipper system. A little preview of what is to come. This relatively weak system (as most clippers are) will slide through Friday evening into Saturday, dusting areas across central and northern Illinois with perhaps an inch or two of snow. We'll have detailed posts regarding this as well.
Now, beyond this - next week - is when the real pain looks to arrive. First, what we are seeing being modeled for Monday is beyond impressive. I am about to contradict myself because I just wrote that most clippers are weak. Well, this one won't be. In fact, this is about as strong of a clipper system as I've ever seen modeled across our area, and right now all the global models are in impressively strong agreement - which at this range is RARE - So either forecast models are setting up the ultimate forecast troll, or something wild is coming our way.
As modeled, this would easily bring over a foot of snow to the affected areas. This system will take a perfect track across Illinois and with snow ratios as high as 20 to 1 the snow could pile up fast! I always get skeptical when I see such a perfectly modeled system at this range though - it can only go downhill from here - but so far the models remain consistent. We'll be covering this one in great detail over the next coming days.
After that, an even stronger cold punch follows. Modeled low temperatures will exceed what we see Friday morning, potentially entering record territory.
Now in my experience whenever I see the models showing lows in the -20 and -30s (yes, LOWS, NOT WINDCHILLS) we end up *only* reaching the -10s - but this IS the pattern to deliver such insane record breaking cold, and we'll have to keep an eye on it every step of the way.
Bottom line folks, the mild days of December and early January are about to become a fleeting memory. Hang on to those better days dearly, and remind yourself its only a month until Meteorological Spring, because winter is about to lay down the law around here.
We'll be posting numerous articles detailing each snow event, along with a better analysis of the cold. As always. STAY TUNED
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