Monday, February 17, 2014

Dramatic, But Brief Warmup This Week For Bone-Chilled Midwest, Northeast

As I woke up this morning at my home in St. Albans, Vermont, it was 8 below outside. Yet another cold morning in what has proven to be a rather long winter.
A snow-flecked Jackson the Weather Dog looks
to the skies over his St. Albans, Vermont yard
on Sunday to see if more snow is coming.
Unlike some people, Jackson says he is
not yet that sick of winter. 

While the snow on the ground is pretty, there are a lot of people here in Vermont and in the entire eastern two thirds of the nation begging for a taste of spring.

Well, that taste of spring is coming this week, but you'd better not get used to it. It won't last that long.

It's starting wintry out there today.  Temperatures have gotten to near 20
below in some of the cold hollows in northern New England and New York.

Yet another snowstorm is blowing across the upper Midwest, spreading another 3 to 10 inches of snow across places like Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The storm will weaken some as it heads east, so places like New York and Vermont should only get one to three inches of snow out of this, with maybe on a dusting in the northwestern corner of Veront and far northern New York.

The storm will redevelop along the coast, so parts of New Hampshire and Maine could get several inches of snow out of this Tuesday afternoon and night.

Unlike most of the snowstorms that have swept across the country this winter, there's no blast of Arctic air behind this one. Instead a mild stream of air from the Pacific Ocean will cross the nation, establishing a brief coast-to-coast thaw this week.

Since it's getting toward the end of February, it's time to start thinking about the spring severe weather and tornado season. It looks like the burst of warm air combined with a storm system will cause some severe thunderstorms, with maybe a couple of tornados in the Ohio Valley and Southeastern United States Thursday and Friday.

Just a sign of the impending season, I guess.

However, winter is not done. The thaw will start to get replaced by Arctic air again by the end of the week in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes.

Here in the Northeast,  some above freezing temperatures are due Wedneday and Thursday afternoons. The warmest day will be Friday, with readings well into the 40s all the way up to the Canadian border in Vermont and New Hampshire.

I know some skiers are going to disappointed by a bout of rain that looks like will also come through northern New York, and Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine on Friday.

The rain won't be too heavy, and at this point it looks like the rain will soak into the snow and we won't have too many flood problems. Although there might be a couple of ice jams, and some street flooding from ice-clogged drains.

Of course, the rain will ruin the nice powder consistency of the snow here. But what can you do?

That cold air heading into the Midwest at the end of the week will eventually hit the Northeast by Sunday or the beginning of next week.

It looks like from then on, a persistent cold pattern, like the one we have had to deal with most of the winter, will set up shop for the end of February and definitely into the beginning of March.

The only bright spot, for those sick of cold weather, is it's hard to get cold waves as intense as those in January once you get toward March.  And on clear days the strenthening late winter sun really takes a bite out of the chill and makes things tolerable.

So it'll be wintry, yes, but it could be worse, I suppose.

So yes, a taste of spring is coming this week, but just a taste. We'll have to wait longer for the real deal.

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