|Lots of winter weather alerts (in blue and pink)|
covered the eastern United States this morning
as yet another storm plows through.
The amount of severe weather in the Gulf Coast states appears to be more extenstive than I, and other forecasters expected.
I've seen several tornado warnings in parts of the south and I've seen at least two reports of confirmed tornadoes on the ground.
Shortly after 1:30 p.m., I noticed reports of a large and dangerous tornado approaching Rockport, Mississippi.
Let's hope it lifted before reaching town.
The threat of torndoes will continue in the deep south through the rest of the day.
It's also shaping up to be a big mess around the Washington DC area and nearby Maryland and Virginia. Several inches of snow have fallen, and it looks as if they'll get several hours of rather heavy freezing rain later this afternoon and tonight, before an eventual changeover to rain.
Roads will be horrendous, and there may be issues with broken trees and power lines in that region later on.
Yesterday, the National Weather Service national map had the blue shade of wind chill warnings and advisories covering virtually all of the Northeast.
Today that map still has a blue coloring again for almost the entire region, but the shade has changed. It's now not for wind chills, but for winter weather advisories and winter storm watches.
It's going to be messy, as it always in on those occasions when the winter temperature skyrockets from deep Arctic chill to substantial thaw, as it will here.
THE SET UP:
A storm is forming in the lower Mississippi Valley and will head northward through late Tuesday, when it'll go into eastern Canada.
Unlike many nor'easters that moved northward off the coast this winter, this storm will track inland, along the Appalachian mountains, very roughly on a track from Atlanta, Georgia to Burlington, Vermont. (The storm could go several dozen miles west or east of this line, you can never predict these things precisely.)
Huge amounts of moisture will be flung well north of this storm as it gathers itself in the Southeast today and tonight, and that precipitation will continue as the storm moves on a beeline toward southeastern Canada late Tuesday night.
OK, WHAT DO WE GET?
Snow and mixed precipitation have already broken out in Virginia and parts of the Carolinas where, winter storm warnings are up for as much as seven inches of snow, followed by ice accumulations today.
All up and down the Eastern United States, all the way to New England and southeastern Canada, snow will start today and tonight, then, from north to south, change to sleet and freezing rain, then rain.
For pretty much the entire eastern United States, this means a long, sloppy, icy dangerous morning commute Tuesday morning.
Up in New England especially, even after the precipitation changes to rain, there's still going to be trouble for awhile. We had that Arctic outbreak which brought record lows to some towns.
It was in the teens and low 20s below zero again this morning across most of northern New York and northern New England. So even when temperatures rise above freezing, the rain will freeze on a lot of that superchilled pavement.
If you see the temperature is between 35 and 40 degrees or something like that tomorrow as temperaures rise in New England and much of eastern New York, don't assume the roads are just wet. They might be glare ice. Sidewalks in particular won't thaw fast. Especially if you're a little unsteady on your feet, tomorrow might not be a good idea to walk into town.
By mid to late afternoon Tuesday the temperature contrast across much of the Northeast will be something to behold.
In eastern New England where temperatures in many areas were in the single numbers and teens below zero Sunday morning and close to zero this morning, readings will shoot up into the 50s to possibly low 60s Tuesday afternoon. That's quite a weather whiplash!
This surge of warm air in eastern New England might be accompanied by strong damaging winds, as the storm system really winds up.
It's always colder on the west side of a storm track. That means it'll stay cold in western Pennsylvania and western New York. Winter storm warnings are up for the western third of New York, as a foot of snow might come down with this thing.
In northwestern New York, especially in the St. Lawrence Valley, snow might change to a period of heavy freezing rain, so there's worry that trees and wires could come down there as ice accumulates. A winter storm watch is in effect there.
By the way, south of the storm, severe weather is possible along the Gulf Coast today. Strong thunderstorm winds, hail and maybe a couple of tornadoes might blossom amid the rain and storms from the Louisiana/Texas border to the Florida panhandle.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE STORM?
The quick answer is, not much. Wednesday, the storm will be lumbering north through eastern Canada
In New England, it will remain fairly mild Wednesday, but gradually cool down under somewhat gusty west winds. A few snow showers will probably dust the northern mountains.
A quick shot of cold air will come in for Thursday and Thursday night but it won't be nearly as cold as it was this past weekend.
Next weekend looks mild, with some snow and rain showers scattered about the Northeast, more so the further north you go.
After THAT, the weather pattern looks like it might be active, but I can't tell you much more than that It's too far into the future to offer a precise forecast.
My guess is temperatures will be on a rollar coaster with cold snaps interspersing with thaws. There will likely be precipitation chances every second or third day for the rest of the month, but there's no telling what kind of precipitation or how much yet.