Break out the coats, gloves and stocking caps.
Saturday’s unusually warm weather will be gone today as a cold front blows through with a vengeance bringing freezing temperatures and a chance for the Quad-Cities to see the first snowflakes of the season.
The high Saturday of 71 degrees tied a record for the day set in 1949, bringing out people in shorts and spending the day in parks. Meteorologist Tom Olsen of the National Weather Service, Davenport, said today’s high temperature will hit 61 degrees, but it won’t be there for long.
A low pressure system centered over central Minnesota on Saturday night was moving quickly southwest into Kansas and is going to wrap back around and take aim at the Quad-Cities, he said.
“That cold sector is expected to begin pushing through sometime mid- to late morning,” Olsen said. “Then, the brunt of it will come through in the afternoon.”
Showers and thunderstorms are likely before noon, he said. Then it likely will be just showers in the afternoon.
“It’s moving fast,” Olsen said of the storm system. “We could see a mixture of rain and snow by sunset.”
Snow accumulations are expected to be light, not exceeding a dusting, he said. However, rain totals of three-quarters of an inch to 1 1/2 inches are likely.
The rain is badly needed.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor last week, most of central and western Iowa remains in an extreme drought. The entire Quad-City region, as well as all of northern Illinois, remains in severe drought conditions.
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The high temperature Monday is expected to reach only 34 degrees under sunny skies while the overnight low dips to 23 degrees.
Olsen said the colder weather won’t be around for long, as more normal temperatures will return by the middle of the week.
By Tuesday, the mercury will begin to rebound with a high reaching into the lower 40s. By Wednesday, high temperatures are expected to be back into the upper 40s or lower 50s under mostly sunny skies. High temperatures in the 50s should remain through Saturday with mostly sunny skies.
On a side note, the first one-inch snowfall usually falls on average about Dec. 6, Olsen said. The earliest the Quad-Cities has seen the first inch of snow is Oct. 18, 1972. The latest date for that first inch to fall was Feb. 10, in 1943.