1st-8th…Light snow developed across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest, while a few rain and snow showers persisted across southern California on Monday. A trough of low pressure moved into the Northern Plains from the Northern Rockies. This system created a front that stretched into the Upper Midwest, and kicked up light and scattered snow showers. Snowfall accumulation across the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin ranged from 1 to 2 inches. Fargo, North Dakota reported a mid-day water equivalent total 0.42 inches, and Moorhead, Minnesota reported 0.11 inches of total water equivalent. A front also extended westward, and lingered over over the Northern and Central Rockies. This front brought cloudy skies, but has not yet triggered any snow in the mountains. The front did bring some cold air in from Canada, and allowed for extremely cold temperatures. The Northern Rockies saw highs in the teens and 20s. In the West, a low pressure system off the coast of California started to weaken on Monday. However, flow around the system continued pushing moisture onshore, which kicked up a few more rain and high elevation snow showers across southern California. Precipitation was light as the system continued to die out. Thus, snowfall accumulation ranged around 1 to 3 inches, with less than a half of an inch of rain at lower elevations. Camp Pendleton, California saw 0.35 inches of rain and Los Angeles, California saw 0.11 inches of rain. The Pacific Northwest saw dry and sunny conditions with cool temperatures as highs varied in the 30s and 40s.
Active weather developed in the southeastern quadrant of the nation on Wednesday as a warm front along the eastern Gulf Coast spread moisture northward across the region. Areas of scattered showers, periodic heavy rainfall, and a few thunderstorms developed from parts of the Gulf Coast through the Southeast and the Tennessee Valley. A wave of low pressure became positioned at the end of this boundary, along the central Gulf Coast, during the afternoon, while a trailing cold front extended along the central and western Gulf Coast. Drier air filled in behind the cold front and provided calm weather conditions in the Southern Plains. To the north, a large vortex spinning over eastern Canada sent waves of energy across the Upper Midwest and the Great Lakes. These disturbances kicked up light snow showers through the afternoon. Finally, high pressure provided dry and calm weather conditions to much of the western half of the nation. A warm front brought periods of light showers, heavy rain, freezing rain, and snow to the coastal mountains and inner valleys of western Washington and northwestern Oregon. Moisture from the Pacific streamed across the Northwest and triggered areas of light snow in the Northern Intermountain West and the Northern Rockies.
Wintry weather returned to the Northeast and persisted in the Pacific Northwest on Friday. A low pressure system over the Great Lakes moved eastward and pushed a cold front southward through the Eastern half of the country. This system brought moisture with it and triggered snow showers on the northern side of the front, rain on the southern side of the front. Winter weather advisories have been issued across New York state, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Vermont, but the system has only triggered about an inch of snow thus far. Flow from the west continued to produce lake effect snow along the eastern shores of the Great Lakes. Western Michigan reported up to 4 inches of new snow, while western New York saw near 3 inches. To the south, the front did bring some heavy snow to the northern Appalachians with snowfall accumulation between 2 to 4 inches across the high elevations of west Virginia. Light snow extended as far south as eastern Tennessee and many areas of the Tennessee Valley saw a messy combination of frozen rain and snow. Kirksville, Missouri reported 0.33 inches water equivalent, while Teterboro, New Jersey saw 0.30 inches water equivalent. Behind this system in the Upper Midwest, strong winds and periods of heavy snow created near-blizzard conditions. Minneapolis, Minnesota reported light snow with wind gusts between 30 and 40 mph, which created near white-out conditions. The north-central US saw another cold day with highs from the single digits to teens. In the West, another low pressure system moved into the Pacific Northwest and over the Northern Rockies. This brought ample moisture with it and triggered more rain and high elevation snow. The northern Cascades saw up to 6 inches of new snow, while the Northern Rockies saw between 7 and 9 inches. Seattle, Washington saw a mid-day total of 0.17 inches of rain.
16th-22nd…Multiple weather features affected the nation on MLK Day. A low pressure system that developed in the Southern Plains continued skirting eastward and over the Gulf states. This system picked up moisture and strength from the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean, then triggered periods of heavy rain and strong thunderstorms. Some of the storms turned severe and created 60 mph winds and dime size hail in Bradenton, Florida. A rotating funnel cloud was reported at Port Saint John, Florida. Strong winds also blew down power lines in Marathon, Florida. Heavy rains developed across southern Florida with total accumulations between 1 to 2 inches. Key West, Florida reported a mid-day total of 3.81 inches of rain. In the North, a low pressure system moved into the Plains from the Northern Rockies. Flow around this system created a cold front that stretched from the Great Lakes to the Central Plains. Temperatures above freezing along the southern end of the front allowed for rain showers to develop, while periods of heavy snow hit the Midwest and Great Lakes. Rainfall totals across the Central Plains ranged between 0.10 and 0.25, but snowfall totals across Iowa and northern Illinois reached up to 4 inches. This brought dangerous travel conditions to the Midwest. In the West, another trough of low pressure brought more moisture to the Pacific Northwest. Periods of heavy rain allowed for more flooding threats across the many rivers throughout the region. Snow levels have dropped to 3,500 feet, which meant a good day for ski resorts in the Cascades that saw between 3 to 5 inches of new snow.
Snow and Ice moved through the Northeast on Tuesday bringing sloppy conditions to the region. For the most part snowfall was minimal with accumulated snow generally less than 2-4 inches. By late afternoon the precipitation tapered off throughout the Mid-Atlantic and was beginning to end throughout the southern portion of New England. In the evening, snow was mixed with rain and sleet throughout portions of New York and Massachusetts, and coastal locations received mostly rain. Further inland, precipitation fell mainly as snow, especially in the higher elevations. More wet weather came to the eastern half of the nation as a cold front behind the eastern system pushed through the region. Several areas of low pressure along this front were trying to form into stronger storms, but were expected to push off the coast along with the cold front over the next day or so. In the West, high pressure continued to dominate the weather pattern from California through central Texas. The high broke down across the northern Rockies, and some clouds were visible there as moisture from a Pacific storm streamed ashore. The Pacific Northwest also saw cloud cover from this moisture as well as some steady precipitation.
Cold temperatures and areas of wintry precipitation continued over the Northeast today as a weak coastal low pressure system exited through the Canadian Maritimes. The system drew cold air across the warm Lower Great Lake bodies and sparked areas of lake effect snow downwind of the lakes and in the Central Appalachians. Meanwhile, in the Southeast, a cold front provided patchy showers, low clouds, and fog over much of the southern and central Florida Peninsula through the afternoon. Behind the weather activity of the East, a potent storm system from the Intermountain West dropped southeastward across the Central Rockies and provided moderate to heavy bands of snowfall in the Central Plains. Snow spread across Nebraska and eastern Kansas this afternoon and produced snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches. Hourly snowfall rates of one half to three quarters of an inch were possible in the heavier snow bands. Heavy periods of snow reduced visibilities to as low as one quarter mile or less at times. Most of the Central Plains and Oklahoma remained under Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Warnings through the evening. In the West, outside of low stratus clouds over the San Joaquin Valley, high pressure provided fair skies and dry weather conditions to most of the Pacific Northwest and California, while the aforementioned storm dropped southeastward through the Great Basin.
Another strong Winter storm pounded the Northeast as it swept northeastward into the Canadian Maritimes. While this storm was not as strong as the past few storms that have buried the Northeast, several inches of new snow fell on much of New England. Behind this storm, strong winds blew through the Northeast and blew the newly fallen snow, causing visibility problems. Perhaps the biggest effect from this storm was the cold air that poured into the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest. Afternoon temperatures in Minnesota were below zero, while single digit temperatures were noted for the rest of the Upper Midwest. This cold air was expected to continue moving southward through the evening, causing problems in the Southeast where frigid temperatures are expected. In contrast to the active weather in the East, the only areas of active weather in the West was in Washington and Oregon. Moist flow off the Pacific Ocean continued to produce rain and high elevation snow from the coast of Washington through Idaho. The only other precipitation fell in Florida as a cold front moved along the peninsula, producing areas of heavy rain. Over an inch of rain fell on some areas, and the precipitation was confined to the southern third of the state by the late afternoon. The Northeast rose into the 10s and 20s, while the Southeast saw temperatures in the 30s, 40s, and 50s. The Northwest rose into the 30s and 40s, while the Southwest saw temperatures in the 60s and 70s.
23rd-31st…There were two main areas of active weather on Tuesday. First, a strong low pressure system moved along the Gulf Coast and picked up a tremendous amount of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. This moisture translated to widespread rain that was moderate to heavy in intensity. The heaviest rain fell in northern Florida and along the Southeast Coast and even consisted of some thunderstorms. This intense rain threatened to produce tornadoes in the Florida peninsula, thus Tornado Watches were posted in the afternoon. By late afternoon, the rain was confined to this area, while only a few showers were noted in the Lower Mississippi Valley and Southeast. Second, areas of snow moved through the Northeast. Winter Storm Watches were in effect for a swath of the country from the Appalachians through the New England coast in anticipation of more snow that will move into the area on Wednesday. The Northeast rose into the 10s, 20s, and 30s, while the Southeast saw temperatures in the 40s and 50s. The Northern Plains rose into the 10s and 20s, while the Northwest. More active weather developed in the East Wednesday as another major winter storm took shape over the Mid-Atlantic. The system brought swaths of mixed precipitation and a few thunderstorms to parts of the Southeast, Central Appalachians, and the northern Mid-Atlantic through the morning and afternoon. Wrap around winds associated with this inland system also provided significant snow over the southern New England areas. Strong winds combined with freshly fallen snow to create periods of blowing snow and ultimately lowered visibilities. Areas from the eastern Tennessee and southern Ohio Valleys through New England remained under Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Warnings through the afternoon as the system moved up the Eastern Seaboard. Elsewhere in the eastern half of the nation, a cold front from southern Canada triggered light snow in areas of northern Michigan. In the West, dry high pressure remained the dominant weather feature of region with calm weather conditions.
Jim G. Munley, jr.
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