Tuesday 10:20 a.m.
A frontal zone moving south through the Northeast today will be on a line from Virginia to Illinois tomorrow. The front separates really hot air to the south from more moderate air to the north. Thunderstorms have been breaking out in the boundary zone, and that will continue. Earlier this morning, strong thunderstorms race through the Chicago area causing wind gusts past 60 mph along with sheets of rain. Rainfall in Chicago is now just over the long-term average for the first 24 days of July.
As a low pressure area develops along the western end of the front then tracks toward the lower Great Lakes, the front will move northward ahead of it and southward behind it. Chicago may face temperatures well up in the 90s tomorrow, with the same thing possible in parts of the Middle Atlantic states on Thursday. Violent thunderstorms can continue to break out in the the frontal zone the next three days... and the area just south of the track of the next low pressure area could have destructive thunderstorms. Here is today's video:
Thunderstorm activity has been plentiful, and this map shows the lightning strikes recorded from 10 a.m. EDT yesterday through just about the same time this morning. Just over half a million lightning strikes are recorded here. No. Don't ask me to count them (you would need a much larger map to even try!).
Heavy snow affected much of the Middle Atlantic region overnight. This map summarizes accumulation forecasts made toward the end of the storm.
For the Ides of March, Shakespeare's play titles put the weekend forecast onstage. Hint: It's not just A Winter's Tale.
This series of maps shows how the extreme cold today in the Northeast is replaced by somewhat milder air tomorrow and Saturday.
This pressure map shows the storm center. The front to the east (red line) marks the boundary between warm air to the south and progressively colder air to the north.
This draft forecast map shows the heaviest snow from the upcoming storm is likely from northern Illinois to northern New England. Tomorrow afternoon, conditions may range from blizzard conditions in central New York to spring style thunderstorms in southern Pennsylvania.
This is the chameleon month of March. Always searching for a sense of identity, its days stagger through punches of waning winter, dance with the sunlit caresses of coming spring and hide behind thick clouds through the wind-swept battles between the two.