December Thaw

6 to 10 day temperature outlook

Iowa WindchillsThis morning, a strong north wind combined with temperatures in the single digits to lower double digits, made for a very cold morning. Wind chills were below zero for much of the morning as the winds continued to be brisk. However, after a very cold morning, we have some good news for you!

Iowa Highs Tuesday

Highs Tuesday 12/2/2014

The good news? Temperatures will be on the warming trend beginning tomorrow. Highs on Tuesday will be warming up into the mid to upper 30’s across southern and western Iowa with the upper 20’s to lower 30’s expected across northern and northeast Iowa.

6 to 10 day temperature outlook

6-10 Day Temperature Outlook

The even better news is this warming trend looks to stick around for awhile. In the very latest Climate Prediction Center’s 6 to 10 day temperature outlook, the entire country will be above average. Remember just a few weeks ago when most of the country was painted in dark blue? If you thought November was a very cold month, it was. November was the 14th coldest on record in the city of Des Moines, 6th coldest for the Quad cities, 5th coldest for the city of Burlington and Dubuque, and 3rd coldest for Cedar Rapids. So after a very cold November, I think a warmer start to December is proper.

6 to 10 day precipitation outlook

6-10 Day Precipitation Outlook

In the latest 6 to 10 day precipitation outlook, the northwest portion of the state will be below average, with the southeast slightly above average. The only precipitation chances over the next 7 days will be on Thursday and possibly Sunday night into Monday. Thursday only looks to bring a few light flurries across extreme northeast Iowa so not expecting a lot in the way of precipitation. Sunday night into Monday may bring light drizzle or possibly a few light rain showers and this chance also looks to remain low.

8 to 14 day temperature outlook

8-14 Day Temperature Outlook

The warming trend doesn’t stop there! In the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook all of the country remains above average. The mid section of the country is even at a high probability of being above average. This isn’t good news for frosty the snowman!

Arctic Oscillation

However, it does appear that this warm up will not last the whole month, which is good news for those of you that are snow lovers. The Arctic Oscillation will be positive through mid December, then it looks to turn negative right after.

Arctic Oscillation

What is the Arctic Oscillation? The Arctic Oscillation is a scale that is determined by pressure patterns across the arctic. When the Arctic Oscillation is positive, the higher pressure confines the colder air to the north. When the pressure weakens, this allows the colder air to sink south, which is also referred to as the negative stage. During the positive oscillation, much of the United States is warmer than normal and drier as well, which is what we will be expecting over the next couple weeks. However, if the pattern does go negative after mid December, then we will be looking at the opposite of what we are expecting over the next couple of weeks. There is still much to watch between now and then so this will bear watching. Until then enjoy the well deserved warm up!


Zach Sharpe

My name is Zach Sharpe. I am the president and forecaster for the Iowa Storm Chasing Network. You can find me on Twitter @Stormchaserzach and on Facebook at:

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