This is the 8-14 day precipitation outlook from the Climate Prediction Center for Feb. 20-26 (next week). They show a large area that is expected to have above average precipitation (rain plus melted snow). This is a concern because we have a decent snowpack and there is lots of ice in area rivers.
This is the temperature outlook from CPC for the same period. They expect cooler than average weather in the West and Northern Plains and warm weather in the East. The colors squeeze together from the S. Plains to the Great Lakes and that’s where you expect stormy conditions.
The combination of significant rain, melting snow and ice in the rivers means we’ll be tracking the possibility of ice jams and flooding. Also, keep in mind that the water level of the Great Lakes is quite high. Lake Michigan is 10″ higher than one year ago and 18″ higher than average for Feb. All five of the Great Lakes are a foot or more above average February levels and Lake Superior is only 2″ from the all-time highest level for February.