Tuesday 10 a.m.
It remains chilly in central and northern New England this morning. Farther south in New York City and Philadelphia, yesterday's snow has been replaced by temperatures in the 40s under cloudy skies. Meanwhile, it feels like May in parts of the Midwest. Just after daybreak, the Chicago temperature hit 60 degrees, breaking a record that had been in place for 99 years. The warmth was advancing on the strength of gusty southwest winds. Yesterday, the temperature soared to 77 in Topeka, Kan., burning the previous record of 74 for the warmest January reading in their history of record keeping.
A strong upper-air trough over New Mexico will move out over the Plains today, sponsoring development of a strong low pressure area at ground level. As that storm moves northeast and its attendant cold front whips around its south side, violent thunderstorms and potentially deadly tornadoes will be unleashed. The following map shows today's severe weather threat.
The storm system has already tapped into moisture streaming northward from the Gulf of Mexico. This will cause a period of torrential rain from the mid-Mississippi Valley into the Great Lakes. Virtually that entire needs rain, but the intensity will lead to local flooding. North of the path of the storm, there will be wind-whipped snow. This video has more:
By Thursday, the cold front will be off the East coast, and wintry winds will be generating snow showers from the Great Lakes into the Appalachians. Just a few flurries are likely east of the mountains Thursday night and Friday. Models have not come into agreement on this, but a patch of mostly light snow may moves from the southern Great Lakes and Ohio Valley regions to the Middle Atlantic coast during the coming weekend.
Some of the thunderstorms can become severe, with damaging wind and brief cloudbursts of rain. The greatest chance for locally severe storms should be in the "S" areas highlighted on this map (based on the NWS Storm Prediction Center's guidance).
There is a slight risk for severe thunderstorms later today from north-central Tennessee up across Indiana and Ohio to Michigan and eastern Wisconsin (shown by the "S" area on the map below. Thunderstorms are not predicted for areas near the coast from Delaware to New England.
It is not going to snow any time soon, but in any type of weather the flag is a symbol of freedom. This holiday weekend we celebrate the contributions of those who were there to defend the freedoms we enjoy in these times.
Once again, the rain will miss much of central and northern New England. The region has been in a dry spell, as evidenced by its appearance on this U.S Drought Monitor map.
A cold front crossed the Northeast yesterday. Looking at these maps, which show morning temperatures yesterday versus readings around the same time today, we can see that the biggest drop in temperatures occurred around the lower Great Lakes.
Much of eastern New England has been in a dry spell ever since the last snow melted. More dry weather is on the way from tomorrow through the end of the week. This radar image taken at mid-morning Tuesday is peppered with showers.