Warm Weather Now, Bigger Changes Arrive Next Week

Weather Blog

Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) – Temperatures are expected to remain well above average across Central Illinois through the end of the work week. However, a series of cold fronts will bring cooler temperatures to the region this weekend and could give us bit of winter weather by Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.

While the weather pattern has and will continue to favor warmer than normal temperatures through the start of December, that pattern will be briefly interrupted this weekend as the jet stream dips south and cooler and more unsettle weather moves into Central Illinois.

The Parade of Cold Fronts Continues

For the past few weeks a series of clipper systems have brought numerous cold fronts through Central Illinois. A few of these fronts brought some light rain and cooler temperatures while others resulted in breezy winds and a change in wind direction. The next front is expected to swing through Central Illinois on Thursday but will bring nothing more than wind shift to the area Thursday afternoon. This front will then be followed by a slightly stronger one that moves through on Friday, and while we are expected to remain dry as it moves through, temperatures will be much cooler behind it with highs in the 40s on Saturday.

Another system will move through Central Illinois on Sunday. Temperatures should return to the 50s ahead of the front with scattered rain showers developing as the front moves through. Once this front moves through, temperatures are expected to be in the 30s through early next week which sets the stage for a more impactful storm system moving in Monday night & Tuesday.

Taste of Winter Tuesday, December 7th?

Whether it’s snow, sleet, freezing rain, rain, or a combination of them all, the setup early next week supports some degree of wintry precipitation across Central Illinois. A stronger storm system is expected to develop across the Central Plains on Monday and lift through the Midwest Monday night & Tuesday. In response to a deepening surface low across the Central and Northern Plains, southerly winds would start to bring in more moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. This moisture would be lifted up and over the cooler air left behind from Sunday’s cold front which would eventually lead to precipitation developing over Central Illinois.

It’s too early to know what we’ll see in Central Illinois early next week and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you. What and how much we’ll see will heavily depend on storm track which varies significantly at this point. That said ensemble model guidance is giving off some of the strongest signals we’ve seen for accumulating snowfall, even if it turns out to be light, that we’ve seen this season.

One such signal is the evolution of the model ensembles which shows more and more members of the ensemble producing some degree of snowfall accumulation.

European Ensemble (EPS) 24 hour snowfall from all 50 members of the Ensemble

What are Ensembles?

It’s not unusual for one model to vary significantly from one model run to the next, so we use ensembles to cut through the noise and get an idea of what the most likely outcome will be. You can think of an ensemble as an extended family, which is composed of many different family members. While the members of the family are similar, a small part of the DNA of each member is slightly different. This gives us a range of possibilities and outcomes for potential storm systems. Sure, you’ll end up with a few oddballs that are way out in left field, but it’s where the bulk of the members are grouped together that help steer us in the right direction.

Ensembles are a great tool for forecasters, especially for events that remain several days out. In this case, regardless of amounts, we are seeing more and more ensemble members producing some measurable snow between Monday night and Tuesday night of next week and it bears watching over the next week.

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