Tuesday, 11:30 a.m.
My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Boston today in light of the Marathon bombing on Patriots' Day in Massachusetts. They are with those who lost a loved one, as well as those who are dealing with injuries, be they severe or minor, and with those physically unscathed, but perhaps scarred mentally and emotionally by the events of Monday. I know of several individuals from my area that ran in the marathon, and as yet I've heard nothing about them. I do know of a high school classmate that finished little more than 10 minutes ahead of the blasts. He's alive and healthy, but no doubt replaying in his mind over and over again what unfolded behind him.
Even in the midst of chaos and trauma, deeds of goodwill were performed. Many thanks to the volunteers, the police force, the medical personnel, even those who ran who thought nothing of running back into harm's way to pitch in to do whatever was necessary to help the injured and restore some degree of peace and calm to a scene that was devoid of it. It restored my faith in humanity that despite the intentions of a deranged few, the many, many more do have good intentions.
Unfortunately, through it all, the weather is hardly taking any break. One storm dumped a foot or more of snow on Colorado in the past 24 hours, and another will bring more snow through Wyoming into Colorado, with some of that snow impacting parts of the Dakotas into northern and western sections of Nebraska. When you get right down to it, this whole storm is really a series of about 4 or 5 storms, all of which will have the impact of bringing a warm surge to most places east of the Mississippi and very cold air down through the Rockies into the Plains over time. As that unfolds, there will be more areas of snow, some heavy rain, and, naturally, severe weather.
The first of these storms is now well northeast of Lake Superior. It's dragging a cold front through the Great Lakes. Ahead of the front, warmer and increasingly humid air is moving into the Ohio Valley and the Appalachians, resulting in some showers and thunderstorms.
The front will get to the New England coast then stall across the mid-Atlantic states tomorrow. In the vicinity of that boundary, there will be a few showers and thunderstorms across the Virginias back into the Ohio Valley. By then, the second storm will already be moving across the central Plains toward the mid-Mississippi Valley. Look at the latest NAM surface forecast for tomorrow evening:
The severe weather threat ahead of that storm will extend from parts of Iowa and Illinois all the way to northern Texas, especially late tomorrow and tomorrow night. On the northwest side of the track of the low, I would expect a thorough soaking, with some of that precipitation ending up as snow, as outlined above.
Still another storm will come through the southern Rockies tomorrow and tomorrow night, bringing with it some snow. By Thursday that snow will end, but the storm will bring heavy rain and strong thunderstorms to the middle and lower Mississippi Valley into East Texas, with some of the severe weather likely to erupt across the western Ohio Valley into the Tennessee Valley.
A fourth disturbance will roll out across the southern Plains Thursday night and Friday, imparting more forward momentum to the whole mess. The cold front will begin to accelerate across the Ohio and Tennessee valleys, still likely to be accompanied by some strong to severe thunderstorms across the central and southern Appalachians into the Deep South. Meanwhile, on the back side of the storm, there will be some additional snow, wind and cold in parts of the Midwest, hardly reminiscent of spring.
By the time we get to the weekend, the storm will have moved downstream, bringing a cold front off the coast and spelling an end to the storminess, even if only for a short period of time. There's some concern another storm will emerge from the Rockies and out onto the Plains early next week to bring an abrupt end to any quiet period.
Two systems will delay the onset of warm weather in the Ohio Valley and the East over the next week or so, but then it should get warm all across the country heading into the Memorial Day weekend.
A turn to much colder air over the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states will set the stage for a rain and snow storm later this weekend before it turns much warmer later next week.
It's warm now, but will turn much colder this weekend, with a storm threat later Saturday into Sunday. Warmth will return by the second half of next week.
Though it is cold now east of the Mississippi, with a couple of opportunities for snow into the weekend, a blast of warmth is due for much of the country east of the Rockies next week.
Warm air will once again surge eastward from the Plains to the East Coast this weekend and early next week. A strong storm next Tuesday and Wednesday will then be followed by colder air later next week.
A storm in Southeast Texas will generate severe thunderstorms this afternoon and tonight, and some wet snow on its western flank as it heads into the Ohio Valley tomorrow.