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We warned you about the major winter storm that will impact millions across portions of the Midwest and Northeast Tuesday night into Wednesday, and that forecast still holds. In this article, we have a final update on what you can expect from this multi-faceted storm, which will bring snow, freezing rain, and/or rain to a large area. During the overnight hours of Tuesday, a light area of snow will move through the Great Lakes region, including the Chicago area. To the south just north of the Ohio River from central Indiana through Ohio, several hours of heavy snow is likely. Meanwhile along the Ohio River, significant icing is possible. Some locations may exceed a tenth of inch of ice as hours of freezing rain comes down. This is due to freezing air at the surface while there is a thick layer of warm air aloft. This will allow for rain…

As the drought worsens across much of the Central and Eastern US, some good news is in the forecast. Rain is finally ahead midweek to help the drought. We’re going to be tracking two pieces of energy that will come together: one from the northern stream, and one from the south. These two disturbances will aid in a widespread, moderate to potentially heavy rain across portions of the East. This storm will also be responsible for snow from the Midwest into the Northeast. Stay tuned for an article on that snowstorm. It all starts this Tuesday with showers and thunderstorms breaking out in the afternoon across portions of the Southern Plains and toward the Gulf Coast and Southeast. This area spans from eastern Texas and southeastern Oklahoma through northern Georgia and the southern Appalachian Mountains. There is even the chance for a glaze of freezing rain in southeastern Oklahoma, depending…

A quick-moving disturbance originating from the Northwest U.S. will sweep through the Northern Tier of the US this Monday, bringing a light to moderate swath of snow to a large area. This Monday, snow will move through, lasting up to ten hours in each location affected, from the interior Northwest and Northern Plains, including South Dakota and Nebraska, then through the Midwest. That includes all of Iowa into southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, so Chicago will have to deal with snow during the evening hours. Overnight, the light to moderate snow will move through portions of the Great Lakes region and the interior Northeast as the storm weakens and the intensity tapers off. Therefore, little to no accumulation is expected in the Northeast sector. Snowfall totals will be heaviest in the Northern Plains and Midwest.  This is where some towns may receive as much as half a foot of snow.

Since the start of fall in early-September, portions of the United States began to dry up due to a lack of water. The summer was harsh for portions of the Northern Plains and Northwest while there were only patches of abnormally dry conditions in the Southern Tier. As the season of fall progressed, however, many areas in the South weren’t receiving as much rain as they would typically receive, therefore getting them into abnormally dry conditions and eventually a moderate to severe to even extreme drought. Every new week as a new drought monitor update gets released, it shows a worsening to most of the drought affecting the nation because it’s been so dry relative to average. The animation below shows the comparison in drought conditions between September 5th, 2017 and the most recent map update on January 20th, 2018. Again, the main reason for the worsening drought is the…

We’ve made it to February. The WeatherOptics team continues to track several winter storms that will affect portions of the Northern Tier this week while the South is on the warmer side with rain and thunderstorms midweek. We compiled a list of the top five weather stories we’re watching for you this week below. Midweek Winter Storm: After one winter storm on Super Bowl Sunday, another one will developing, following a fairly similar track Tuesday into Wednesday. This storm will bring snow from the Central Plains through the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes and into the Northeast. Some locations will receive over half a foot of snow on top of the half foot plus that fell during the weekend. Stay tuned for this story. Severe Storm Threat: The same storm that will bring wintry weather to the North midweek may be responsible for some severe storms across the South Plains, especially eastern Texas and Oklahoma,…

As two storms organize and bring precipitation into freezing air at the surface, that makes us concerned about the threat for freezing rain from Saturday night into Sunday. One of the ingredients that will allow for the low-level cold is this phenomenon called, cold air damming. In a typical setup of cold air damming, you have winds coming at a direction that contains a northerly vector due to high pressure either north or overhead of the Appalachian Mountains. Cold air will therefore flow southward along the eastern side of the Appalachians, and that cold air associated with this cold air damming can get as far south as northern Georgia in typical situations. So from northeastern Georgia through central Pennsylvania. Notice how all of these locations are just east of the Appalachians. Meanwhile in the Appalachians, they will receive snow. So late-Saturday night or really early Sunday morning, freezing rain is…

A new storm originating from the Northwest will move toward the Southern Plains and eventually through the Southeast this weekend, bringing rain and thunderstorms all the way to the East Coast while snow falls across the interior Northeast. This Saturday, showers and thunderstorms are expected near the Gulf Coast, including in eastern Texas, portions of Louisiana, Arkansas, and southern Mississippi and Alabama. Also across the Northern Tier where temperatures are above freezing due to a warm, southerly flow, a few showers are possible from southern Michigan and Wisconsin through the Mid-Mississippi Valley. Colder air will invade, however, in the Great Lakes region and Ohio Valley during the overnight hours. Speaking of the overnight hours, the showers will become more organized and will consolidate into a widespread rain in the Tennessee Valley while scattered showers and thunderstorms sweep through much of the Southeast. Showers will also creep into much of the…

As a wave of low pressure moves through the east, it will lead to the development of rain showers across portions of the East this afternoon. It’s not until the overnight hours when colder air will allow for some of this rain to changeover to snow. This afternoon, rain showers are forecast from southern New England through interior portions of the Northeast, much of the Ohio Valley, Tennessee Valley, and down into parts of the Southeast. By the evening, colder air behind the cold front will begin to intrude. That cold air will aid in the development of snow from Upstate New York through western Pennsylvania, down the Appalachian Mountain chain, and into the Ohio Valley. A few hours of snow is possible for cities like Lexington, Kentucky and Nashville, Tennessee. During the night Thursday into early Friday morning, a line of showers will move through parts of the Southeast.…

Groundhog Day is this Friday, the day when groundhogs across the nation predict whether spring will arrive early or there’s six more weeks of winter. The main groundhog who makes this prognostication is Phil from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. If Phil sees his shadow, then that means there’s six more weeks of winter. Now if he doesn’t see his shadow, then that means spring is coming. Based on the past, the large majority of the time Phil saw his shadow, meaning that winter will continue for another month and a half. This year, a cold front is forecast to move through Thursday night, ushering in colder and drier air in time for when Phil makes his prognostication at around sunrise. According to our forecast, skies will be mostly cloudy with some breaks of sunshine. Therefore, even though there is only the chance for sunshine, we think Phil will see his shadow, meaning that there…

The Arctic air is settling into the Northern Plains and Midwest now that February has arrived, and this cold will likely last for an extended period of time through much of the new month. As thousands head to Minneapolis for the big game on Sunday, the temperatures are going to be extremely cold. Yes, we know the field is inside and the spectators will be in a heated stadium, but you’re still going to have to endure the cold to get there. Below, you’ll see the forecast high and low temperatures for Minneapolis the next 10 days. These temperatures are forecast from a blend of the various weather models, such as the European and the American. Notice how the coldest day coincides with Super Bowl Sunday. The forecast high is 6 degrees with a morning low of only -7 degrees. Winds will make it feel even worse. Wind chills will…