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    Elliot Abrams

    Big Storm with ThunderstormsHeavyRainHighWindsBlizzard

    By Elliot Abrams, AccuWeather chief meteorologist
    12/20/2012, 6:42:24 AM

    Thursday 10 a.m.

    A wide ranging storm is causing a blizzard on its northwest side, violent thunderstorms to its south and heavy to its east. As it continues to get stronger, winds around it will reach tropical storm force and there could even be hurricane-force gusts on Lake Michigan. This morning the storm's area of influence ran from Akron, Colo., to Akron, Ohio, and from Duluth, Minn., to Duluth, Ga. The video shows what to expect for the next few days.

    This map shows the isobars around the Midwest storm. The closer the lines are, the stronger the wind. Note the wide spacing near the East Coast where it has not been windy this morning.


    590x534_12201444_screen-shot-2012-12-20-at-9


    Looking at the map, you can see Chicago in a southerly flow ahead of the low pressure area, but places west of the storm have an immediate wind shift that starts bringing in cold air. There is even a hint of weaker circulation close to the center, a very weak version of what would be the calm eye of a hurricane.

    While we do not anticipate a snowstorm from this low pressure area, I want to stress how rapidly the weather will change from wet to windblown and snowy as the center moves to your east. Also, the threat of violent thunderstorms ahead of the cold front will be a continuing concern as the front slices through the Southeast.

    The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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