Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Outside...

The last several days have seen a big spring tease across much of the country. Warm air streamed into the Plains and Midwest today with highs reaching the mid 70s from Nebraska though southern Iowa and all of Missouri. St. Louis reached 80°F this afternoon. The 60s could be found as far east as Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic states.

Maximum temperatures ending at 7:00 p.m. CDT March 11, 2014

By the time Wednesday morning rolls around things will look and feel much different. A cold front dropped south through the central U.S. this afternoon. and a wave of low pressure is moving along that front. Showers and thunderstorms broke out this evening across Missouri and Illinois, and in the cold air further west snow was falling.

Surface map at 7:00 p.m. CDT March 11, 2014
Overnight the rain will change to snow and a band of 4 to 6 inches of snow or more is expected from north central Illinois east-northeast across southern Michigan and through much of New York into New England.

Probabilities for 4, 8, and 12 inches of snow, and for >+0.25 inch icing
from 7:00 p.m. CDT March 11 to 7:00 p.m. CDT March 12

The good news is that this will be followed by another warming trend by the end of the week in the central U.S. However, that will be short-lived as another cold front plunges south and returns temperatures in the eastern half of the U.S. to as much as 8 to 10 degrees below normal.

Maximum temperature departure from normal forecast for Monday, March 17.

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