Snow melts out of Q-C forecast

2012-12-08T22:16:00Z Snow melts out of Q-C forecastThomas Geyer The Quad-City Times
December 08, 2012 10:16 pm  • 

All together now, to the tune of “Let It Snow.”

“Where’s the snow, where’s the snow, where’s the snow?”

The snow that was expected to fall today has been all but taken out of the forecast for the Quad-Cities.

“There will be snow up north, in Minnesota, Wisconsin and northern Iowa,” said meteorologist Linda Engebretson of the National Weather Service, Davenport.

“They’re looking at hefty amounts up there, especially in Minnesota,” she said, adding that Duluth is forecast to get between 8-12 inches of snow and Minneapolis-St. Paul getting 4-6 inches.

For those wanting snow here, however, Engebretson said a split in weather systems is pushing one to the north and one to the south, “and we’re right in between.”

One of the problems is that the Quad-Cities will be too warm for much, if any, snow, she said.

“If we were just a degree colder, we’d be getting snow,” Engebretson said. “It’s a fragile balance. I don’t think people realize how difficult that is to measure.

“We may see a few flakes, but as far as any accumulation, there likely won’t be any.”

Snow removal services should not even plan on firing up their trucks, she added.

National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Olsen said that if snow does fall, it won’t stick unless it’s on grassy or high surfaces.

“The ground is still fairly warm, so any snow would melt quickly,” he said.

Rain is what the Quad-Cities will primarily experience today — and there won’t be much of that either, maybe .10 of an inch, he added.

The high temperature today is expected to reach 40 degrees while the mercury will plummet to 19 degrees overnight.

Monday’s high is expected to reach only 24 degrees before warming into the 30s Tuesday and Wednesday.

Olsen said the first measurable snowfall of the season — of an inch or more — falls, on average, on or about Dec. 6, so not having snow at this point is not unusual.

The earliest in recent record-keeping that the Quad-Cities has seen that first inch of snow was Oct. 18, 1972, he said. The latest date for that first inch to fall was Feb. 10, 1943.

During the winter months of December 2011 through February 2012, only 12.9 inches of snow fell. On March 2, a system brought 3.1 inches of snow and then another .9 of an inch fell March 4. In all, only 16.9 inches of snow fell during the last snow season, which is calculated from July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012.

The average snowfall for the winter season in the Quad-Cities is 25.5 inches, according to National Weather Service statistics.

At this point, anyone hoping for a white Christmas may have to travel north.

“Our probability for a white Christmas is only 37 percent,” Engebretson said. “That’s with 1 inch on the ground. That’s not very good.”

Chances for a white Christmas in Cedar Rapids are in the 51-60 percent range while Dubuque is slightly higher, in the 60 percent range.

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