The Big Melt
Forget your second-string shoes. You'll need scuba gear to get around town the next couple of weeks. Puddles have morphed into ponds. The mere act of crossing the street has become a sad You Tube Moment. This is what progress looks like.
The sun is as high in the sky as back in late September; almost 3 hours of additional daylight since December 21. Snow melts from the bottom up, even on a day with sub-freezing highs.
Sadly (for all of us) liquid water expands when it re-freezes at night, helping to carve out potholes big enough to camp out in. Suggestion: borrow a friend's car to run errands.
We cool off into the 20s today, but temperatures brush 40F again Thursday and Friday, again a couple days next week. No big spikes or dips - no reruns of the Polar Vortex (until 2018 I pray).
The pattern isn't ripe for heavy snow or rain; ECMWF guidance hinting at a couple inches of slush next Tuesday, but no whoppers brewing.
Chicago & Detroit will see near-blizzard conditions today; at 84 inches the Motor City is closing in on the snowiest winter on record.
Lake Superior ice cover peaked at 95.7 percent. Back in 1996 Superior was 100 percent ice-covered.
Yes, it can always be worse.
* Heaviest snow impacts Chicago between now and 8 AM Wednesday, but strong winds behind the storm will trigger blowing/drifting into early afternoon as temperatures tumble into the teens with a wind chill near zero at times. I expect 4-6" in Chicago, only 1-2" closer to Libertyville and Waukegan, but as much as 8" possible on the south side. Expect widespread delays and cancellations at O'Hare and Midway today.
* South Bend picks up closer to 8-10" of snow with near blizzard conditions during the morning hours Wednesday.
* Detroit will pick up 6-10" of snow with widespread impacts on travel, land and air. The heaviest snow is over by mid afternoon.
* Cleveland is expecting 7-12" of snow with serious blowing and drifting into the afternoon hours as sustained winds top 30 mph. Conditions slowly improve during the day Thursday.
* Blizzard Warnings are now posted for Buffalo and Rochester, New York, expecting 12-18" of snow with white-out conditions from Wednesday evening into early Thursday.
* Boston will see heavy rain, ending as a couple inches of snow Wednesday night.
* New York City sees showers, even a thundershower later today, a few hours of snow Wednesday night as temperatures drop sharply.
We'll keep you posted with situation reports during the day Wednesday as the storm unfolds. Good luck - be safe out there.
Paul Douglas - Senior Meteorologist - Alerts Broadcaster
Photo credit above: NOAA "A TAO buoy seen next to a NOAA research ship, which was used for maintaining the buoy array across the Pacific Ocean."
Image credit above: "A sprite glows red (inset) in this image captured by astronauts on the International Space Station on April 30, 2012." Credit: Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center.
Image credit above: "The ozone hole reached its biggest extent for the year on 26 September, 2013." Photograph: NOAA.
Photo credit: Pedro Moura Pinheiro/Flickr
Photo credit above: "A compound commonly found in fruit and vegetables, including apples, grapes and strawberries, has been found to prevent Alzheimer's disease in mice." (Photo: Shutterstock).
Image credit above: "Euler's Identity, which relates the three fundamental constants e, pi and i, was rated the most beautiful of a set of 60 equations by mathematicians." Quinn Dombrowski/Wikimedia Commons.
43 F. high in St. Cloud Tuesday.
36 F. average high on March 11.
29 F. high on March 11, 2013.
16" snow on the ground at KSTC as of Tuesday evening.
TODAY: Sunny and brisk. Winds: NW 10. High: 23
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Clear and chilly. Low: 12
THURSDAY: Partly sunny. Mild and March-like again. High: 41
FRIDAY: More clouds than sun, turning cooler by afternoon. Wake-up: 26. High: 38
SATURDAY: Mix of clouds and sun. Wake-up: 13. High: 27
SUNDAY: Sunny start, wet snow at night? Wake-up: 3. High: 28
MONDAY: Early slush, then clearing. Wake-up: 21. High: 35
TUESDAY: Chance of snow, mainly southern MN. Wake-up: 24. High: 35
Photo credit above: "In Louri village in the Mao region of Chad, climate change has meant that the normally once-a-decade droughts are now coming every few years. November 2, 2012." (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell).
Photo credit above: "The Arctic sea ice season is shortening by five days per decade, with the appearance of sea ice becoming delayed by warmer weather, according to new research." (Photo : NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center).
* Tweet above courtesy of Simon Donner.
- Climate change poses another significant challenge for the United States and the world at large. As greenhouse gas emissions increase, sea levels are rising, average global temperatures are increasing, and severe weather patterns are accelerating. These changes, coupled with other global dynamics, including growing, urbanizing, more affluent populations, and substantial economic growth in India, China, Brazil, and other nations, will devastate homes, land, and infrastructure.
- Climate change may exacerbate water scarcity and lead to sharp increases in food costs..."
Photo credit: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg. "Despite a concerted campaign by environmentalists and public health experts to stanch its use, coal, the most plentiful and cheapest fuel in the world, is proving globally resilient."