The Midwest snowstorm has departed the area. It is fringing the New England coast today as a Nor'easter with heavy snow. Attention now turns to the west where a strong upper level disturbance off the California coast will move inland today. This will produce deep low pressure over the Plains into the weekend. We will benefit from the warm south winds that will develop ahead of the system.
The graphic from the Chicago Tribune looks back at our recent snow and ahead to the weekend warm-up. The real eye catcher is how our recent wet and snowy pattern just suddenly turned on January 27. Since then we have received 6.08 inches of total water equivalent precipitation, of which 26.7 inches fell as snow. Through January 26 seasonal snowfall had only been 2.8 inches. The seasonal total is now up to 29.5 inches. The fickle nature of weather.
With the upcoming system moving to our west, we will warm-up to melt the snow. Highs today and Friday will be 35-40. Highs on Saturday into the 40s, and low 50s are not out of the question Sunday depending on the timing of the cold front. If we did not have the existing snowpack to melt the highs would have been around 7-10 degrees warmer.
Some rain is possible over the Chicago metro area beginning Saturday afternoon, but the main rain is expected Saturday night into Sunday morning. An early estimate on rainfall is .5+ inches. The rain, and melting snow which amounted to around .7 inches water equivalent, will continue to lessen the long term drought. Parts of northern Illinois are still in a "moderate" long term drought.
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