Thursday, February 20, 2014

If Anything, Today's Wild Storm System Even Wilder Than Forecast

As of 6:30 p.m. Thursday tornadoes appeared to be spinning up in Illinois, western Tennesee and other nearby areas, as they had been most of the afternoon, signaling the storm hitting the nation from the Great Plains east is even nastier than I would have predicted.
Via @Shireman Farms on Twitter,
a tornado today near Concord, Ill.  

There seems to be more tornadoes with this system than originally thought. Most of the severe weather was expected to be mostly damaging straight line winds. Those straight line, damaging winds are definitely happening, but there are tornadoes in the mix.

Also, there's been several reports of tornadoes in Illinois, more to the north than I thought was going to happen. Oddly, these tornadoes are happening in places that were covered in snow a couple days ago. Tornadoes are rare, or nonexistent on snow covered ground.

What a change in the weather!

So yeah, this storm is big and dynamic.

Where I sit in the Northeast, we're going to be affected by this storm quite a bit. But on the bright side, no tornadoes.

In Vermont, where I am now, today was vaguely spring like. There was some sun, it was 40 degrees and a little snow melted.

Don't let that hint of spring fool you. As the storm's warm front approaches tonight, the accompanying precipitation will cool the air, so much of central and northern New England is in for a nasty spell of wet snow, sleet and freezing rain overnight.

Roads will get icy and slushy and gross, so your trip to work Friday morning might not be so fun.

Precipitation was just moving into Vermont and the rest of New England as of 6:45 p.m. Thursday. Expect one to three inches of glop, basically overnight, north of Interstate 90 (The Mass. Pike).

It'll go over to rain most places in New England during the day Friday, with the icing lasting into midmorning at least in northeastern Vermont, northern New Hampshire and western Maine.

I still don't expect much flooding from this rain, as most of the water will just kind of soak into the snowpack. There might be some ice jams and street flooding especially in low elevations of southwestern Vermont, in New York south of the Adirondacks, south of the White Mountains in New Hampshire, and in southern New England.

Elsewhere in the nation, all hell continues to break out. I just receive a report of severe flooding around Champaign, Illinois. Blizzard warnings are still up for parts of Iowa and Minnesota. Winds are expected to gust to 60 mph across a wide swath of the Midwest.

And yes, it's still expected to turn cold again. It'll be chilly this weekend in the Midwest. The Northeast can expect one more mild day Saturday before the chill returns.

We'll see lots of below zero readings again in the Midwest and Northeast by the end of next week.

So yes. Sigh.

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