All Weather News

Busy Thursday: Recap Of Severe, Bitter Midwest Cold, Lake Effect Snow – And Super Bowl

31 Jan 2013, 11:31 am

Strap on your seatbelt, folks, because we are about to cover a ridiculous amount of weather in the least amount of time possible.  We’ll start with the best news (SuperBowl forecast) and work through the worst news (tornado reports, severe weather reports) after that.

With that being said, here is your Super Bowl forecast for the weekend in New Orleans, LA:


Sunny & 60s For Temperatures
Sunny & 60s For Temperatures


Look at that.  Some of the best weather in the nation to be found will be found in that area!


Now, The Severe Weather


It’s never a good thing when you start trying to figure out how a particular severe weather outbreak compares with recent larger ones… and unfortunately, Tuesday-Wednesday’s outbreak of severe weather reached that magnitude.

As of this morning we had tallied up over 700 severe weather reports – when you combine tornadoes, wind damage/gusts, and large hail.  Impressive, to say the least.

Here is how things break down by day, severe weather-wise.  We’ll start with Tuesday.  If you recall, we actually dodged a figurative bullet on Tuesday (during the day – overnight into Wednesday we saw tornadic activity pick up), with only a smattering of tornado reports on a moderate risk day that had a decently large potential for low-topped supercells and tornadoes centered over Arkansas and beyond.  Here is the map:


Tuesday Severe Reports
Tuesday Severe Reports


Tornado reports have been added on, mostly due to overnight and early morning activity from Tuesday night to Wednesday morning.  Wednesday ended up being another fairly active day, with reports being seen of severe weather all the way from Pennsylvania to the Gulf Coast.

Here are some of *those* reports now – from Wednesday:


Wednesday Severe Reports
Wednesday Severe Reports


It’s interesting how, due to the timing of the record-keeping, it gives the appearance of more tornadoes on Tuesday than Wednesday – but keep in mind that these maps are showing reports from 5AM Central Time to 5AM Central Time… so it skews things a bit.

The grand total is impressive, and gives us a total that is the largest overall total number of storm reports since this past fall – and really, technically, late summer!  Check out this tally – which could still rise by a few numbers and delayed reports get added in:


Total Severe Reports
Total Severe Reports


Pretty incredible, huh?


Let’s Talk Cold & Snow


The other big issue is the cold.  Would you rather see extreme cold (wind chills colder than -50 degrees) or heavy snow (totals of nearly 2 feet)?  Luckily most places are seeing one or the other, with a blend of snow and cold for many in the Great Lakes region.

One question you might ask, if you have a dry (and lame) sense of humor, like I do, is the following:

Why not, in Minot?

Well… normally there isn’t an answer to that question… but today there is, and here it is:


Minot Wind Chills This Morning
Minot Wind Chills This Morning


How does -51 degrees for a wind chill feel?  I’ve only experienced values like that once or twice – and hope to never have that privilege again!

How about the lake effect snow?  We’ve been seeing that ramping up once again – as extremely cold upper-level temperatures ride over the still-as-of-yet unfrozen Great Lakes.  Everywhere from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan down to downstate Michigan, and east of the eastern Great Lakes – snowfall tallies could tally up to over a foot, to upwards of 1-2 feet of snowfall.

You can see the lake effect snowfall tallies pretty well in this high resolution model output:


Lake Effect-fest
Lake Effect-fest


A few 2 foot totals could be a possibility before things are said and done – and then there is a little clipper system that looks to dive south and east… over the Ohio Valley by the end of the work-week.

There ends you whirlwind tour of the nation’s weather!  There is a lot more on the horizon that we will be following on WeatherNation!


WeatherNation Meteorologist Aaron Shaffer @ashafferWNTV

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