Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Brief Break in Winter Weather

Forecast max temperatures for February 20.
For almost a week the forecasts for the central and eastern U.S. have been advertising a Februarythaw. The thaw is underway and will continue through the end of the week. As much as the warmer weather is welcome, it will have a down side. The quick warm-up, a deep blanket of snow on the ground, and expected rainfall up to an inch or more will likely cause flooding issues in snow-covered areas of the Midwest and east.

Snow cover on February 18, 2014

A storm system that has moved into the Pacific Northwest bringing rain to coastal areas and snow to the Cascade will move out of the Rockies toward the central U.S. by Thursday. This system will tap into moisture flowing northward from the Gulf of Mexico triggering showers and thunderstorms from the southern Plains into the Ohio Valley. In the cold air north of the low center's path heavy snow will likely fall across the northern Midwest and Great Lakes.  Moisture streaming over the cold air in northern New England may result in some freezing rain.

Surface map forecast for Thursday, February 20.

A broad area from the Gulf Coast to the  southern Great Lakes is in a Slight risk for severe thunderstorms on Thursday. The northern third of this area just picked up 4 to 8 inches of snow yesterday from the last system to move through.

Convective outlook for February 20 issued on February 18

Those of you who are weary of winter will have to hunker down a bit longer.  The latest 6 to 10 -day outlook from the Climate Prediction Center indicates a high probability that temperatures will be below normal through the end of the month.

After a day or two with highs in the 40s and 50s, temperatures will return to normal and then below normal through next week for much of the eastern two-thirds of the country.

Maximum temperature forecast for Wednesday, February 26.

The good news is that the days are getting longer and the sun is getting higher in the sky.  Spring will be here before you know it.

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