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1st-5th…The potent winter storm that took a 2000-mile trek across the nation during the first half of the workweek to directly affect 30 states finally moved off the New England coast on Wednesday. By late evening, light snow continued to fall across sections of eastern Maine. Farther to the west, scattered lake enhanced and lake effect snow fell across sections of New York State, Pennsylvania and Ohio. However, the intensity and areal coverage of the snow was either diminishing or moving eastward off the New England coast. As of mid-evening on Wednesday, the storm's center was located over the waters of the western North Atlantic off the Cape Sable Island at the southern tip of Nova Scotia. A weak low-pressure center, which was located over Upstate New York near Albany, represented the remnants of the storm center before the system underwent regeneration as it approached the Atlantic Coast. The storm will be long remembered for the heavy snow plus the strong winds that resulted in blizzard conditions across the Midwest. Earlier in the day, the storm had produced locally heavy snowfall from the Great Lakes eastward into sections of the Northeast. In addition to "system" snow (or that snow produced by the storm system), lake-enhanced snow fell as cold winds associated with the storm traveled across the open and relatively warm waters of the Great Lakes. Daily maximum snowfall records were set on Wednesday across the Great Lakes States in Michigan at Grand Rapids (11.1 inches), Lansing (8.4 inches), Flint (8.3 inches), Houghton Lake (7.0 inches) and Detroit (4.3 inches); in Wisconsin at Milwaukee (9.1 inches) and in Illinois at Chicago's O'Hare Airport (6.6 inches). Some stations across Wisconsin and Illinois had received heavy snow on Tuesday and early Wednesday, bringing storm total snowfall accumulations to more than two feet. Farther east, snowfall records for the date were also set Wednesday in New England at Burlington, VT (11.3 inches) and at Bangor, ME (10.7 inches). A line of rainshowers developed on Thursday evening across the Southeast. This precipitation stretched from the Louisiana Gulf Coast northeastward to Georgia and the Carolinas and was associated with a disturbance in the upper tropospheric jet stream flow pattern. To the east, a few scattered thunderstorms developed and were moving to the northeast across northern sections of Florida during the late evening. These thunderstorms formed along and to the north of the cold front trailing from the departed winter storm. After traveling southeastward across the Southeastern States earlier Wednesday, this cold front stalled across the Sunshine State, becoming a stationary front.
6th-12th…The Southeast saw active weather on Monday as two low pressure systems converged over the region. One low pressure system centered itself over northern Mississippi and the other over the panhandle of Florida. These systems created a warm frontal boundary over the Gulf states, while counter-clockwise flow around the system pulled ample moisture onshore from the Gulf. This triggered periods of heavy rainfall with scattered thunderstorm development. Cross City, Florida reported a mid-day rainfall total of 2.22 inches. Meanwhile, a cold front extended to the north and tracked northeastward up the Ohio River Valley. This produced a messy combination of snow and rain, with snowfall rates up to 1 inch per hour across Kentucky and Tennessee. Paducah, Kentucky reported snowfall totals between 3 and 8 inches.
Another round of winter weather pounded the nation's mid-section and Southeast Wednesday. After dumping up to 12 inches of snow in Oklahoma, an inverted trough of low pressure located along the Southern Plains and Lower Mississippi border supported a mix of rain, sleet, and snow development in the Ozarks, Lower Mississippi Valley, and western Tennessee Valley through the afternoon. Arkansas experienced the heaviest amounts of snow as afternoon snowfall rates reached to about 1 inch per hour. Significant wintry precipitation over these regions caused difficult to hazardous travel conditions with slick roads and reduced visibilities. Persistent snowfall also resulted in numerous flight delays and cancellations in Oklahoma during the morning. Winter Storm warnings and Winter Weather Advisories remained in effect from eastern Texas through the Central Appalachians during the afternoon.
13th-19th…The Northeast saw a snowy day on Monday, while rain returned to the West Coast. A low pressure system that developed in the in the Gulf of Alaska has created a strong cold front that finally pushed onshore. This system picked up ample moisture before spreading scattered rain showers over the Pacific Northwest and northern California. High elevation snow developed across the Cascades, but has not yet reached the Sierras. Cold air associated with this system created below normal temperatures and allowed for snow levels to drop to the foothills of the Cascades. This front also brought strong winds as it moved onshore. Whidbey Island, Washington reported gusts up to 57 mph, while Truckee, California reported wind gusts up to 53 mph. Heaviest rainfall developed across Washington with a mid-day total of 1.77 in Quillayute, Washington. Most of northern California saw between a quarter and a half of an inch of rain, except for a mid-day total of 0.66 inches in Santa Rosa, California.
The western half of the nation saw the most active weather activity in the nation today. A trough of low pressure pushed onshore from the eastern Pacific Ocean and supported precipitation development from the West Coast to parts of the Continental Divide through the afternoon. Waves of energy that trekked through California, Nevada, and Idaho combined with enhanced moist onshore flow to create areas of rain, hail, thunderstorms, high elevation snow, and strong winds across these areas as well as the Pacific Northwest. The West remains under a variety of Winter Storm and Wind Warnings, Winter Weather and Wind Advisories, and other watches, warnings, and advisories.
The western U.S. saw more wet and snowy conditions on Friday. A deep and strong low pressure system sitting just offshore of California continued pushing multiple waves of energy onshore. As moisture from the Pacific Ocean continued to feed this system, heavy rain and high elevation snow persisted across most of California. The system has created a 100 mile wide plume of precipitation that stalled over the Sierras and western Nevada overnight, creating snowfall rates up to 1 inch per hour in many areas, with up to 3 inches per hour over the high elevations of the Sierras. By mid-day Friday, the heaviest precipitation shifted southward to the Central Valley and Southern Sierras. Thus, snowfall totals in the Northern Sierras ranged from 2 to 4 inches, up to 8 inches above 7,000 feet, while the Southern Sierras saw up to 21 inches of snow at mountain peaks. Wind advisories have been issued across these regions due to strong and gusty winds, with gusts up to 70 mph across mountain passes. Rainfall totals at lower levels were significantly lower than the previous day, with a mid-day total of 0.50 inches of rain reported at North Bend, Oregon and 0.47 at Monterey, California.
20th-28th…Wintry weather hit the Midwest and Ohio River Valley on President's Day, as a low pressure system moved from the Midwest towards New England. The system created a frontal boundary that extended up the Ohio River Valley. Due to warmer temperatures along the southern side of the front, rain developed from Missouri to southern Pennsylvania, while snow developed north of the front over the Lower Great Lakes. Along this front over Ohio and Indiana, saw a messy combination of frozen rain and sleet. Heaviest rainfall hit Bloomington, Indiana with a mid-day total of 1.59 inches of rain. Snowfall accumulation across the Lower Great Lakes ranged from 1 to 2 inches. Just to the north, another trough of low pressure followed close behind this system and sprinkled snow showers over the Upper Midwest. Snowfall accumulation remained light with only 1 to 2 inches in most areas, up to 6 inches in northern Wisconsin.
Active weather persisted across the nation on Friday. Two major winter storms brought wet and snowy conditions to both the East and West Coasts. The system out West slowly tracked down the West Coast, and pushed a strong cold front through California. This triggered periods of heavy rain across Northern California Friday morning, which quickly moved toward southern California. This front also brought periods of heavy snow to the Sierra Nevadas, with snowfall totals from 6 to 12 inches across the northern Sierras. Snow showers diminished across the Cascades. Strong winds were also associated with this front, with gusts up to 54 mph reported in Truckee, California. The heavy snow and strong winds over the Sierras brought dangerous road conditions with closures at some high mountain passes. Periods of heavy rain developed at lower elevations across northern California Friday morning. Rainfall totals ranged form 1 to 1.5 inches, with up to 1.53 inches in Marysville, California. In the East, a strong low pressure system that brought heavy snow to the Midwest has moved into the Northeast, and triggered more heavy snow. Along the warm front, a messy combination of frozen rain and sleet developed across the New England states. Rainfall totals reached up to 2.05 inches in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Winter weather advisories have been issued through Friday night as heavy snow developed from upstate New York to Maine. Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour have been observed at Burlington, Vermont. Mid-day snow accumulation reached up to 8 inches in the extreme Northeast.
A large storm brought snow to the Northeast and produced severe thunderstorms in the Southeast on Monday. The system quickly moved northeastward from the Southern Plains and produced two strong frontal boundaries. A warm front stretched into the Northeast and created periods of heavy snow showers across Maine, as well as northern Vermont and New Hampshire. Total daytime snow accumulation ranged from 4 to 8 inches across these areas. This relatively warm system allowed for rain showers to develop along a cold front that stretched from Pennsylvania, over the Appalachians, and into the Lower Mississippi River Valley. The already moist ground allowed for flooding to be the main concern of this system. Flood advisories have been issued across most of the Ohio River Valley and into Tennessee. Marion, Ohio saw 2.20 inches of rain, with periods of heavy thunderstorms. Elsewhere, rainfall totals ranged from 1 to 2 inches. Strong winds accompanied this front with reports of several trees blown down and damages to houses with roofs blown off near Hardwick, Kansas. Quarter size hail was reported in multiple areas including Pikeville, Kentucky, Gilbert, West Virginia, and Rossville, Georgia. Additionally, a tornado developed in Estill Springs, Tennessee and caused extensive structural damage to residences and multiple trees down. Meanwhile, Out West, another low pressure system pushed over the Pacific Northwest and moved into northern California. This created rain showers with heavy snow showers across the Cascades. Tillamook, Oregon reported a mid-day total of 1.20 inches of rain on Monday. California saw increasingly cloudy skies with areas of light sprinkles, as this system approached from the north.
Jim G. Munley, jr.
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