The winter season so far has basically been a no show for most of northern Illinois. Only the far northwest sections a descent snow from the storm a few weeks ago. That was the storm that dumped 12-16 inches from Nebraska through Wisconsin. The immediate metro area only received a mushy accumulation under an inch.
After a few chilly days with highs in the 20s we are about to once again warm up. The below freezing day on January 1 tied the record for the latest sub freezing day and we did set a new record for consecutive non sub freezing days. The number of days without at least one inch of snow is about to fall. The latest NWS update can be found here.
The record will fall because of the large push of mild Pacific air that is headed our way next week. See the NWS graphic. Have you seen Old Man Winter?There will be some very light snow or drizzle/freezing drizzle over the metro area late Saturday into Sunday morning. After that the Pacific air will push over the central US beginning Monday. Highs Monday through Wednesday look to be into the 40s. Rain or rain changing to snow will fall late Wednesday into Thursday as a strong upper level low moves into the area. The GFS model has us rain changing to snow while the ECMWF shows all rain.
The precipitation is desperately needed. We continue in a long term drought which is getting worse with the dry weather of late. While it is nice we have missed three major snow systems with their travel disruptions, the down side is the dryness. Chicago ended 2012 with only 26.91 inches of precipitation or about 27% below normal. Rockford was even drier with only 23.35 inches or about 35% below normal. Details here.
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