Tuesday, 11:30 a.m.
A wintry mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain accompanied a storm that had two centers yesterday. The first rolled through the Midwest toward the northern Great Lakes, producing mainly snow. The second low advanced into the Ohio Valley yesterday afternoon, then redeveloped along the mid-Atlantic coast early this morning. In the process, enough warm air was shoved in aloft to change the snow to at least sleet and freezing rain, and outside of the mountains, it turned to plain rain.
That secondary storm is far from done. Here's this evening's surface snapshot, showing the two distinct low centers:
Heavy snow is still falling over portions of Massachusetts into New Hampshire and Maine, and by the time it stops falling later tonight, many places will end up with more than a foot of heavy, wet snow.
Arctic air is once again on the move, as temperatures are struggling to get out of the teens at this hour in Chicago, with wind chills near zero. That's more typical of a mid-January day, not the last full day of winter! And there is PLENTY of cold air to go around, too. Look at the projected anomalies tomorrow alone:
The core of the bitter cold will extend from parts of central Canada down into the Ohio Valley, but there's another very cold air mass over the Yukon Territory and Alaska, and that will have to be reckoned with down the road. It's only a matter of time.
As the Northeast storm winds down, a new one will enter the Northwest. Here's the forecast map for tomorrow morning:
Mild air will flood into Oregon and Washington, raising snow levels and leading to some concerns over flooding tonight into tomorrow. Look at the projected model rainfall totals through tomorrow night, though the bulk of the rain will come tonight and tomorrow morning:
The cold front attached to this storm will move into the northern Rockies tomorrow night, then onto the Plains Thursday. There will still be quite a contrast in air masses between the arctic air to the north and warm air to the south. As low pressure develops over the southern Plains Thursday afternoon, it will enhance the warm advection into Missouri, where someone is going to wind up with a nice little late-season snowfall.
However, that system will fade into the Southeast as a rain storm come Friday, deferring to a bigger fish swimming upstream. That one will come through the Northwest will far less fanfare Friday, but it will raise much more of a ruckus this weekend once it comes through the Rockies and out onto the Plains. That one is very likely to become a potent spring storm, one with lots of cold, wind and snow, as well as heavy rain and severe thunderstorms. Yes, it's going to be a wild finish to the winter season, with that storm looming ever larger on the horizon and the prospects for at least one more heading into the Easter weekend.
Boy, do I miss the warmth and sunshine I enjoyed Thursday into Sunday in the sunny South!
A storm moving off the mid-Atlantic coast this afternoon will deepen rapidly tonight, generating blizzard conditions in parts of the Northeast. At the same time, record highs will be challenged over the Plains and eastern Rockies.
A major winter storm will bring heavy rain and snow through the East tonight and tomorrow, followed by a weaker storm later this weekend spreading snow from the Midwest to the mid-Atlantic.
A storm organizing along the Texas Coast will spread heavy rain across the South into the Southeast, with rain and some snow for the mid-Atlantic and New England late Friday into Saturday.
A storm coming through Texas tomorrow will head for the Carolina coast Saturday morning, spreading rain and some snow into the mid-Atlantic states and parts of New England Friday night and Saturday.
The northern branch of the jet stream will dominate for the next week, meaning no big storms and very little arctic air. Changes toward a colder pattern are in the wings for next week.
Much of the country will have a mild weekend, enough to call it a January Thaw. As we go through next week, though, the mild air will gradually get replaced by more and more arctic air over time.