Past weather patterns can give clues about upcoming weather

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) - Weather patterns can repeat themselves. Sometimes you’ll see them repeat yearly (like the so-called “Indian Summer”) or once every few years. If the incoming pattern is similar to that of a pattern in the past, logic says the outcome should be similar, too. We call this the analog forecast technique. Much like a quarterback recognizing a blitz package by the defense and calling an audible out of it to avoid a sack. They’ve been there and done that!

Cue January of 2009.

The past four or five days have been out of 2009’s playbook. Now, while we didn’t catch an all-time low at Cedar Rapids, it still had similarities. The cold event of 2009 started with inches of powdery snow, brutal wind chills, and finished off with temperatures into the -20s. However, wind was calm for that event, rather than the 5-10 mph persistent wind we had with this one. The last time we had an event like this was, sure enough, January 14-16, 2009.

The rest of January 2009 was characterized by bouts of cold air and snow. This particular January looks very similar. Our forecast reflects this well with a few dustings coming this week and a system of note for Sunday and Monday. Then, more cold!