It has been a fairly quiet last month to month and a half across much of the region regarding snow and wintry weather but we are beginning to see some signs of that finally changing, potentially beginning as soon as this coming weekend. I get into some initial thoughts below on what **could** end up being a winter storm moving into portions of the Midwest.
Our eventual system of interest is still well out across the western Pacific Ocean this afternoon apart of a strong upper level low and it might be several days until models get a good grasp on this as it won't come ashore California until Thursday morning. So for this reason as it tracks east across the northern Pacific over the coming days, model guidance could continue to waffle back and forth and struggle with different solutions each model cycle. After it comes ashore on Thursday morning, we should then get a better grasp on what to expect across the Midwest and here in Illinois. By that time, it is forecast to run along the track outlined below before emerging into the southern plains by Friday afternoon.
The strong southern stream system will eventually lead to low pressure development across the southern plains and strong southerly winds off the surface will lead to strong warm air and moisture advection (shown below in red). This along with large scale ascent from the wave itself will lead to widespread precipitation developing across the central plains and into the Midwest on Friday. We will get more into specifics regarding that in later articles as there could be several rounds of precipitation.
The main question per usual is the exact track the system will take. Below is a ensemble forecast valid at noon on Friday, showing many possible surface low locations across the southern plains and the exact track of that will determine who could potentially see wintry weather/possibly accumulating snow out of this system by this weekend.
At this juncture, all we want to do is bring the potential of a winter storm to your attention. There are lots of details still to be worked out over the coming days so be sure to stay tuned for more articles and information!
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