Blizzard warnings in northcentral Montana will be lifted this afternoon to be replaced by winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories as the system responsible ejects into the northern plains, and leaves in its wake snows and cooler temperatures within the inverted trough axis leaving the central plains with subfreezing temperatures over the weekend, a tough blow after the mild temperatures formerly enjoyed.
This will allow the deep south to laugh heartily as they enjoy temperatures well above normal as onshore flow streams a comforting blanket of warmth into the region. Places such as New Orleans will enjoy highs in the mid 70s through the weekend, while Minot, ND will have lows reaching nearly -20ºF, with wind chills at very serious levels.
No one seems to be discussing the potential for freezing rain / sleet / mixed precipitation we discussed on New Years Eve. The potential is still there as is demonstrated by the afternoon run of our Forecast Precipitation Type product. Today’s run advances the potential to earlier Saturday than Wednesday showed, but surprisingly maintains the same general area beginning around the Iowa Nebraska border, and since we can see further out with a later run, the track leads through New England on Monday morning.
As this system propagates, areas north of the mixed will receive snows ranging from a few inches to potentially six or more in Minnesota and the Michigan U.P., while areas south will receive liquid precipitation. Speaking of the south, thunderstorms will fire along the central and western Gulf tomorrow, with additional potential next week. However I do not see the “Finger of God” (ref: movie “twister”, totally inaccurate, but at least has Helen Hunt) for tomorrow at least.
The PNW will have another jet moving in as the weekend ends adding another foot or so the the Cascades, Idaho, and Oregon. If things look interesting I will write more over the weekend.
As always stay tuned to your favorite weather outlet, stay informed, and stay safe!