WeatherNation Blog

Severe Storms, Snow, and Bone Chilling Temperatures

For the past few days, we have been tracking a power storm system that will impact nearly the entire nation.  On Friday and Saturday, the West felt the brunt of this storm with snow totals in excess of 2 feet in some of the mountains.  As warmer air from the central plains collided with this blast of winter-like conditions coming in from the west, storms (some severe) marched through the Central Plains.  The march continues today with another round of storms and bone chilling conditions coming in behind this mess. Here are some of the details:

Saturday Storm Summary


Winds gusting up to 70 mph at the St. Paul airport yesterday brought down power lines and trees around the city.

Other severe storms were reported from Nebraska down to Northern Texas. Golf ball sized hail reported in Central Nebraska.

The Cold Side

On the western side of this system, temperatures have been dropping like rocks.  Precipitation generally came in the form of snow or freezing rain from North Dakota, to Montana, southward across the Rockies, and even down to the higher elevations in northern Arizona and New Mexico.

Big Sky Ski Resort, Montana

From: http://www.bigskyresort.com/Photos-Videos/Webcams.asp

Glacier National Park, Montana

From: http://www.nps.gov/glac/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm

The majority of the snowfall is coming to an end (at least for the weekend) for most the Mountain West.  The highest totals came from near west-central Montana.

Just because the snow is ending, this doesn’t mean the “winter-like” weather is gone.  In the wake of this system, plummeting temperatures combined with strong winds have led to wind chill values well below zero.

Out ahead of the front, with a strong southerly flow, temperatures are still very mild.  Several record highs were sent across the Midwest yesterday as highs were in the mid 70s in some spots. The cool down is coming quickly through and temperatures won’t be any where near record levels in the Central Plains.

What we see here is how the temperature increases by traveling east.  A chilly 11° in Bismarck, ND this morning while at the same time Milwaukee, WI enjoyed a mild morning of 62°.

Winds also increase as the front approaches.  The yellow shaded arrows indicate wind gusts up to 45 mph.

Wind Advisories in effect for parts of 10 states.

And, of course, along with the cold air and winds, our primary concern will be for the potential for severe storms.  Slight Risk zone for today includes an area extending from southern Missouri to eastern Texas.

At least for the rest of the weekend, the East Coast is the place to be.  Still very mild and remaining dry from New York down to Miami. Cold and wet weather arrives early next week as the front moves in.

No concerns for any messy conditions during events honoring our Veterans in the Washington DC area. High temperature of 69° today with a breeze from the south up to 10 mph.

http://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/

Thank you United States Veterans.  These are real heros! God bless America!

-Meteorologist Gretchen Mishek

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