In a year where winter has been hard to find, it's finally making itself known across the northern United States. The Northwest is seeing a multi-day winter storm that has over 200,000 without power on Puget Sound. The good news for Seattle and surrounding area is that temperatures are forecast to rise this weekend. This will keep any upcoming precipitation in the form of rain.
Cold air has settled in across the northern quarter of the U.S. Current temperatures in North Central Minnesota are currently below zero.
This, along with the winds, are creating dangerous wind chills across parts of the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
There are already Winter Weather Advisories out across the Upper Midwest through Friday evening.
Most areas are expecting around 2-4" of snow through Friday evening. Chicago's expecting 4-6" of snow and Milwaukee is expecting 3-5".
The storm should then move into the Northeast for Saturday. Again, most areas are expecting 1-3", however, Pittsburgh is in a narrow band that is expecting 3-5" of snow from Friday night through Saturday.
The last couple days have seen numerous records fall, yet again, in the nation's mid-section. Snowfall amounts of 20+ inches were seen in parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas. Places like Jay, OK (25"), Siloam Springs, AR (24.5") and Hutchinson, KS (17") are digging out from heavy snow. The cleanup is further compounded by the blast of arctic cold that came in behind the system.
Lows Thursday morning broke records in states such as Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Missouri. Bartlesville, OK set a new all-time low for the state of Oklahoma with -28°F! Other locations setting records were:
- Wichita, KS (-17°F) - beat old record for this date by 5°F
- Springfield, MO (-10°F)
- Amarillo, TX (-6°F)
The good news for everyone is that there's a February thaw heading their way. Places like Bartlesville, after setting a record low this morning, will be looking to rebound to the mid 50s by Sunday afternoon. Amarillo is looking for the mid 60s by Sunday as well. The thaw looks to continue into at least the middle of next week. Some forecasters are even saying that some areas could see as much a 100° jump from the frigid temperatures of this morning with temperatures in the next week pushing the 70s in some locations!!!
As the Midwest finally sees some thawing, the Northeast will remained locked into a cold and wintry pattern with another round of snow coming this weekend. A dip in the jet stream over the Northeast will help keep cold temps in place while allowing the "big melt" in the middle of the country.
While winter is far from over (we just passed the mid point of winter recently), this warm up will do a lot to help areas thaw out after a brutal first half of winter.
The dog days of summer are here! Grab a cold drink, relax, and check out these latest new features in Weather Defender:
Relative Humidity Layers
Relative Humidity Plots
Just when you think it couldn't get any hotter, we throw some humidity into the mix. But seriously, RH Plots show you the level of moisture in the air--the fuel of thunderstorm development.
Contoured plots of the RH Plots above for easier visualization and spotting potential areas of thunderstorm formation.
Wind Chill Layers
Wind Chill Plots
Wind Chill in July? No, you probably won't be making use of this layer for a few months. But we're just trying to do our part to cool you down this summer.
Wind Chill Contours
At-a-glance visualization of those scary-cold temps.
Here's how to add these new layers to your map:
1. Unlock your map by clicking the padlock icon in the upper-right of the Map Layers window (or the Lock icon on the Map toolbar)
2. On the main toolbar, click Map > Add Layer
3. In the Layer Browser, click the Surface Weather category
4. Find the corresponding layer (RH Plots/WC Plots, etc) and click Add To Map