Monday, 11:55 a.m.
We're finally closing the books on March, but not without winter putting up one heck of a fight! The storm moving away from the New England coast has been able to pull enough cold air down on its back side to change rain to snow since Saturday night in parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and even as far south as the mountains of North Carolina. Even this morning one finally band of moisture has been rotating down through New England and across New York City and Long Island, and in the middle of that band of snow, it has been snowing hard enough to stick and cause all sorts of traffic tie-ups and mishaps. In Islip, the snow was the heaviest of the entire month! And the trace of snow at Dulles Airport, while obviously nothing serious, put a finishing touch on the snowiest March ever recorded there.
As the storm moves farther away this afternoon, all of this rain and snow will come to an end, and the clearing trend will continue to progress eastward. High pressure will build into the East tonight, so with a clear sky, little wind and a dry, chilly air mass, temperatures will drop to frosty levels into parts of Virginia.
Meanwhile, another storm is roaring across the central Plains right now, and it means business. The center of lowest pressure is currently over northeastern Nebraska, and there's plenty or arctic air on the north side of the storm. Snow is piling up from parts of Nebraska to North Dakota and extreme northwestern Minnesota. The storm tracking right over Lake Superior tomorrow morning will bring the accumulating snows to an end. When all is said and done, as best as it can be measured, over a foot of snow will fall on parts of North Dakota and northern Minnesota:
That won't be the entire story, though. Because of the intensity of the storm and the strength of the high to the north over Saskatchewan and Manitoba, there will be a tremendous amount of wind that will whip the snow into deep drifts across the northern Plains. Of course, it will be very cold and will get colder in the wake of the storm.
It's not all cold and stormy, though. There will actually be some nice weather, and warm at that, spreading from the southern Plains and across the Mississippi Valley into the Ohio and Tennessee valleys, as well as across the Deep South. This warm air will spread into the mid-Atlantic states, but it will go only so far before it gets turned back by a cold front darting across the the Great Lakes into the Northeast tomorrow night into Wednesday morning. Still, areas near and particularly south of the Mason-Dixon Line will get into the 70s by Wednesday with some sunshine.
This front will become a focal point for moisture from midweek on. One wave of low pressure will likely cross the Ohio Valley Thursday and head across the mid-Atlantic late Thursday and Thursday night into early Friday with some rain and probably thunderstorms. Where it rains, especially north of the boundary, it will be quite cool. In fact, it could easily be 5 to 10 degrees cooler in that rain zone stretching from northern Illinois to Pennsylvania than it is farther north, where there will be some sunshine!
The main storm will come out of the Rockies Wednesday, and there could be a period of snow in much of Colorado late Wednesday and Wednesday night into Thursday. Then, as the storm deepens late Thursday night into Friday and heads for lower Michigan late Friday, there will be another band of heavy snow on its northwest flank, coming across parts of Nebraska into Iowa, southern Minnesota and into Wisconsin. There may not be a foot of snow in as many places, but it will be yet another reminder that despite it now being April, winter still rules in many places.
The cold front attached to this storm is likely to generate severe thunderstorms Thursday night from Missouri to eastern Texas eastward to the Mississippi Valley. These strong to severe thunderstorms will then charge across the Ohio and Tennessee valleys on Friday before weakening Friday night upon crossing the Appalachians. The cold front will then move off the Eastern Seaboard, and guess what? Yes, another very chilly air mass will move swiftly out of the northern Plains and across the Midwest to the Appalachians Saturday, then fully into the East Saturday night and Sunday. An even chillier air mass may follow early next week!
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