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Major snow in the northern Corn Belt
What an incredibly snowy winter it has been for much of southern Minnesota...and today marks the beginning of the official winter! Another six inches of snow at Rochester yesterday gave that location nearly 38 inches so far this month, making it their snowiest December ever and also their snow MONTH ever recorded. That snow was part of a swatch of snow stretching from northwestern North Dakota (where nearly a foot of snow was recorded at Williston) southeast into northern parts of Illinois and northwestern Indiana (a lot of 2 to 4 inch amounts recorded in northern Illinois).
Of course, most everyone has some travel plans for later this week heading up to the Christmas holiday on Saturday, but be aware that it will be a rough go of it in a large part of the Midwest for later Thursday and into Friday. There are still some big model differences on the track of the storm, but my thoughts right now is that especially central and southern parts of the Midwest will see significant snow (at least four inches) in that period and some places may get close to a foot.
Winds may not be a huge factor in the storm (certainly nothing like the blizzard of two weekend ago) but enough where some blowing and drifting looks likely. It will dry out in most of the Midwest for Saturday so travel that day will be better once the roads are clear, but that will be a cold day. The same storm that will take aim at the Midwest for late this week will take aim at the Northeast for late Christmas Day and for Sunday, putting a place like New York City under the gun for perhaps around a foot of snow in that period.
While no "heat wave" temperatures in the Midwest will not be all that bad through Friday but will be colder for the weekend and into next week. Still no sign yet of this pattern changing to one where we can get any sort of a sustained warming trend started for eastern parts of the Nation.
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