Don't get fooled by the clear skies today: the weather for this weekend looks downright ugly.
We're likely to get a bunch of precipitation. Probably rain. But maybe sleet. Or snow. Heck, maybe even hail. Nobody really knows.
Even the professional weather-guessers are having trouble guessing what might happen. This morning's forecast discussion from Springfield, Missouri, explains:
THIS FORECAST PACKAGE HAS BEEN ONE OF THE MORE DIFFICULT ONES OF THE WINTER. QUITE HONESTLY...THERE IS HARDLY ANYTHING CLEAR CUT ABOUT THE NEXT FIVE DAYS. MODELS ARE OF LITTLE HELP WITH DRASTICALLY VARYING SOLUTIONS.
Meanwhile, the morning discussion from the Paducah office says little about the weekend forecast.
Two systems are poised to arrive, the first on Friday and then again on Sunday.
It appears that high temperatures will be warm enough each day (upper 30s to low 40s) that most of the precipitation will fall as rain during daylight hours.
Early Friday morning and then Friday night, the temperature will be just cold enough for a rain/snow/sleet mix, but any frozen precipitation would be unlikely to stick.
Sunday night is another matter. The temperature will dive below freezing, so there's a good chance the snow will accumulate. However, this is when the heavier precip would be moving out. We all know these rain-changing-to-snow forecasts rarely pan out.
The current GFS model delivers a big snow just to our north, with 6+ inch total accumulations from St. Louis down to extreme northern Perry County. Cape Girardeau, though, would get squat under this scenario.
If the storm were to track more to the south, drawing in colder air, then Cape Girardeau could be sitting at the crosshairs for a surprise snowstorm. Any slight change in the storm's track would drastically alter the rain/snow/sleet mixture, which is why the veteran weather-guessers are having so much trouble making their guesses.
The Springfield discussion does mention the prospect of "convective potential" -- in other words, thunderstorms. If we do get colder-than-expected air, then we could see thundersnow or even thudersleet. The madness is not going to end anytime soon.