Jack Frost to Replace Santa in Illinois


Published on January 3 2017 10:51 am
Last Updated on January 3 2017 10:51 am
Written by Greg Sapp

Americans could end up ringing in the new year with an unwanted guest – Jack Frost.

A band of mild air that blanketed parts of the Midwest late last month could give way to a cold blast of Arctic air this week.

The change in patterns has the potential to produce as much as a 20- to 30-degree shift in temperatures later this week, according to Bryce Anderson, DTN senior ag meteorologist.

“That is going to mean, across the central U.S., we’ll get much-below-normal temperatures the first week of the new year,” Anderson said. “We could see temperatures 10 to 15 degrees below normal by Jan. 4 or 5.”

Anderson looks for the precipitation pattern, which has been heavier to the north and lighter to the south, to continue into this month.

Snowfall the first half of December ranged from 10 to 15 inches north of Interstate 80, 2 to 7.5 inches between I-74 and I-80, 0 to 2 inches from I-70 to I-72, and 0 to a trace south of I-70, according to the Illinois State Water Survey.

Anderson also looks for the temperature pattern to remain on a pendulum through this winter.

“I think we’ll have continued variability through the balance of winter,” he said. “The air patterns are not uniformly ruled over the next month or so by any big features in the Pacific (El Nino or La Nina), which is basically neutral right now.”