Well, folks, the polar vortex is leaving the country this week, but as its last deed, it swamped the South with an ice and snow storm yesterday, then dropped temperatures to record levels this morning from New York to Florida. Heavy snow fell in northeastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia (see webcams from North Carolina beaches below and more pictures here), but that wasn't even the big story.
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Dozens of record lows were threatened or broken this morning (see map below). Here is a look at 7 a.m. temperatures today and a list of the lowest temperatures by state during the last three days:
- Garrett County, Md.: -27 (Source)
-Oswayo, Pa.: -23 (Wed.)
-Lisbon, Ohio: -22 (Tue.)
-Mount Washington, N.H.: -22 (Tue.)
-Cold Brook & Wilmington, N.Y.: -22 (Tue.)
-East Windsor, Mass.: -21 (Tue.)
-Mannington, W.Va.: -17 (Tue.)
-Cornwall Bridge, Conn.: -13 (Tue.)
-Wicomico River, Del.: -12
-Mount Leconte, Tenn.: -12 (Wed.)
-Childress, Va.: -11
-Jefferson, N.C.: -8
-Atlantic City, N.J.: -3
-Bowden, Ga.: -3
-Barfield, Ala.: -3
*Sources: NWS PNS/RER; Mesowest; CRONOS.
It's also notable that Ocean City, Md., fell to -9 this morning, owing to the fresh snow cover and calm winds there.
Above is a look at the polar vortex's effect on surface temperatures this morning, compared to the forecast model map that I posted last week (hover over the image). Note that it was even colder than expected in Europe, about equal here in the U.S., but different near the North Pole. Still, an impressive forecast from a week out. Now check out this comparison from Nov. 29, 2013, and yesterday -- note the areas shown at the arrows which are now iced over, including parts of the Chesapeake Bay, Susquehanna River and Long Island/New Jersey coasts (if you wonder what waves look like under ice, check out this video by blog reader Ralph).
Snow and ice fell in every Southeast state (radar) and in fact snow cover was observed in every state in the Continental U.S. except Missouri yesterday. Snow plows were plowing snow off bridges in the North Carolina Coastal Plain; the newspapers had a field day:
The Appalachian mountains won the temperature war yesterday, with readings as high as 90 degrees. Record high temperatures were broken across the region.
Dangerous Cyclone Ita is already stronger than devastating Cyclone Yasi's peak and the storm looks similar to Yasi on satellite.
Severe weather has taken center stage in the news and Social Media this week, owing to severe thunderstorms in western Europe, Argentina and the Philippines.
Dropcam has now added time-lapse capability to their cloud recording... your weather camera at home can now do full-day time-lapses.
This weekend's storm in the Northeast U.S. turned out to be another over-performer for snowfall.
Yesterday's extreme nor'easter fell to 955 mb pressure with the highest waves I've ever seen; winds clocked to 119 mph, but was that reading accurate?