Get Ready Iowa: Here Comes Winter
[ORIGINAL STORY 1/8/20] We've had some great luck with the weather lately. Above-normal temperatures and what little snow we've seen has disappeared quickly. However, we may soon forget the warmth and the fact we've only seen about five inches of snow in Cedar Rapids in the last two months. Mother Nature is due to show us who the boss is, and it looks like she will with a big reality check of both snow and cold.
[THIS PORTION UPDATED FRIDAY, JANUARY 10 6:30 A.M.]
First comes the snow and/or ice. The National Weather Service is forecasting the first major snowstorm of the season later today, through Saturday afternoon. Just to the south of Cedar Rapids, it's expected to begin as rain before changing to freezing rain and sleet, and then all snow this evening. A Winter Storm Warning has been issued from 3 p.m. Friday, January 10 through 6 a.m. Sunday, January 12. Our TV partner, CBS 2, is forecasting five to eight inches, with locally higher amounts. The National Weather Service says another inch of snow if possible in Cedar Rapids Sunday night.
Meteorologist Terry Swails began warning earlier in the week that parts of Illinois could see as much as five inches of rain from this storm. Nearly all of Illinois is under a Flash Flood Watch today and tomorrow.
[CONTINUATION OF ORIGINAL STORY 1/8/20] What's just as concerning is what Terry's GFS and EURO EPS weather models show for snowfall over the next two weeks. If these are right, our world is going to be turning very white. When models agree, well that's a little concerning. That's a foot-plus in the eastern part of the state, on both models:
And then there's the Arctic cold. The current temperature forecast for January 23 is for temperatures about 30 degrees below normal.
All of this is eerily similar to last January. December of 2018 was unusually warm. Then on January 15, 2019, I wrote 'Remainder of Iowa Winter Looks Terrible.' January 23 came my article titled 'Iowans: Prepare for Major and Lengthy Deep Freeze.' Eight days later, Cedar Rapids reached 30 degrees below zero for the first time in history.
I can't tell you how much I hope history ISN'T going to repeat itself.