These are our two most prestigious American computer models — both models are from Wednesday morning looking at total liquid-equivalent precipitation totals (not snowfall totals) for Friday. The medium green shading represents where the models think 0.1″ or more of moisture will fall. Those narrow dark green regions are 0.25″ and greater. A dark green region in these cold temperatures could amount to 4 to 7 inches of snowfall. The model on the left is the one that most accurately illustrated our inevitable Christmas Eve snow. It has done well in our current weather pattern, and if it is the most accurate for Friday, it certainly places the heavier snow closest to our doorstep — just immediately north, including Muscatine.
Thursday late morning and afternoon
As I had advertised, we got our solid dusting of snowfall over most of our area Wednesday night. I think more snow is on the way.
Thursday is a cloudy day with flurries and scattered snow showers — overall, another healthy dusting of accumulation will occur over much of our area through the afternoon. Temperatures are staying cold — highs in the lower to middle teens.
The sky will remain cloudy, and more snow will fly around here throughout the day. On Wednesday, I thought the 9am-to-9pm time frame would be an open window for persistent light snow Friday. I still think snow is on track to fall during that time period. For now, I’m also staying with my original thought of 1.5 to 3.5 inches of total snowfall Friday — mainly for Burlington and Mount Pleasant and especially points northward where Friday’s main snowfall will look to focus. Keokuk southward, snow amounts in most cases will be zero to a dusting.
Computer models are still having some track and even intensity issues with Friday’s snow. Interestingly, the models are now showing a band of heavier moisture that my calculations in a chilly mid teens air mass would equate to 4 to 7 inches of snowfall. As it looks to me, that heavy band could develop north of us anywhere from Muscatine to Dubuque.
Any changes, even minor changes, to the weather make such a big difference in snowfall amounts when temperatures are this cold. As an example, just 4 hundredths of an inch of moisture could give us an inch of snow Friday. Parsing a few hundredths of an inch on a computer model for a specific location feels a lot like starting to Christmas shop at 3pm Christmas Eve. I included a couple computer model images above for more details.