New Blast of Cold Air Invades Midwest U.S.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:31 PM GMT on February 26, 2014

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A frigid blast of Arctic air will bring some of the coldest late February temperatures seen in decades to the eastern 2/3 of the U.S. this week, with temperatures 15 - 30° below normal commonplace. The cold air isn't going anywhere fast, and will stick around through early next week. The cold blast is due to an extreme jet stream pattern we have seen before this winter--a sharp ridge of high pressure over California, and a large trough of low pressure over Eastern North America. This upper air pattern was described by the National Weather Service in Buffalo, New York on Tuesday as one that occurs less than once every 30 years in late February. The intense cold is already affecting the Upper Midwest this Wednesday morning. My vote for worst winter weather of the day goes to Central Minnesota at Alexandria, where a temperature of -8°F this morning combined with winds of 14 mph to make a wind chill of -28°. The winds are expected to increase to 25 - 30 mph Wednesday afternoon with higher gusts, creating blizzard conditions. In Chicago, the intense cold is expected to put the December - February average temperature for this winter below 19°, making the winter of 2013 - 2014 the 3rd coldest winter in the Windy City's history. Only the winters of 1978 - 1979 and 1903 - 1904 were colder.


Figure 1. Great Lake ice cover as seen on February 19, 2014, by the MODIS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite. Ice cover on North America’s Great Lakes reached 88 percent in mid-February 2014—levels not observed since 1994. The average maximum ice extent since 1973 is just over 50 percent. It has surpassed 80 percent just five times in four decades. The lowest average ice extent occurred in 2002, when only 9.5 percent of the lakes froze. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

Rain coming to California
Unlike previous versions of this extreme jet stream pattern, though, the ridge over the Western U.S. will not be very persistent. The ridge of high pressure over California, which brought numerous record high temperatures for the date on Tuesday, will get broken down by a weak low pressure system on Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, a more intense storm system will smash through the ridge, bringing moderate to heavy rain to much of drought-parched California. This storm will then track eastwards, potentially bringing a major snowstorm and destructive ice storm on Monday to Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, and portions of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast U.S.


Figure 2. Departure of temperature from average at 2 meters (6.6') as diagnosed by the GFS model at 00 UTC February 26, 2014. A negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) created a sharp kink in the jet stream (Figure 3), which allowed cold air to spill southwards out of the Arctic over the Eastern U.S. Compensating warm air flowed northwards into the Arctic underneath ridges of high pressure over Alaska and Europe. Data/image obtained using Climate Reanalyzer™ (http://cci-reanalyzer.org), Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, Orono, Maine.


Figure 3. Winds at a height where the pressure is 250 mb show the axis of the jet stream, seen here at 00 UTC February 26, 2014. A sharp trough of low pressure was present over the Eastern U.S., and unusually strong ridges of high pressure were over the Western U.S. and the North Atlantic. Data/image obtained using Climate Reanalyzer™ (http://cci-reanalyzer.org), Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, Orono, Maine.

Wanted: professionals willing to speak about climate change to local groups
If you are a professional or graduate student with a strong background in climate science, the world needs you to reach out to local audiences at schools, retirement homes, the Chamber of Commerce, etc., and share your expertise. A new initiative by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and the United Nations Foundation called climatevoices.org is launching a Science Speakers Network this spring, with the goal of bringing scientists and their local communities together for real dialogue on climate science that speaks to citizens’ current and future well-being and responsibility as members of a community and democracy. Materials for context-setting presentations will be offered as will coaching regarding how to begin conversations about climate change with fellow citizens. If you are interested in volunteering for this network, please go to climatevoices.org and create a profile.  Profiles will “go public” when the full web site is launched in April. Once you create a profile, you will be kept up to date on Climate Voices progress including construction of the full web site, availability of presentation materials, webinar coaching, and plans for project launch. For any questions, please contact: Cindy Schmidt (UCAR), cschmidt@ucar.edu. I have my own set of slides I use for such talks that anyone is welcome to borrow from, available at http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/2013/climatetalk.ppt.

Jeff Masters

Snowy Friday (Beaker)
After a major winter storm in the Twin Cities area, I spent Friday afternoon capturing a glimpse of the beauty left in the aftermath of the storm.
Snowy Friday

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hires nam 18z run hr 12

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BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
CHILD ABDUCTION EMERGENCY
TEXAS DIVISION OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AUSTIN TEXAS
RELAYED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIDLAND/ODESSA TX
225 PM CST WED FEB 26 2014 /125 PM MST WED FEB 26 2014/

...AMBER ALERT...

THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE IS TRANSMITTED AT THE REQUEST OF THE TEXAS
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY.

THE NACOGDOCHES COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE IS SEARCHING FOR NOMEI
VELAZQUEZ...HISPANIC...FEMALE...15 YEARS OLD...4 FEET 11 INCHES...
120 POUNDS...BLACK HAIR...BROWN EYES WEARING GLASSES...A WHITE
SHIRT...BLUE JEANS AND BLACK TENNIS SHOES. SHE IS CARRYING A BROWN
PURSE.

POLICE ARE LOOKING FOR JUAN FABIAN ARENAS DELACRUZ...HISPANIC
MALE...28 YEARS OLD...5 FEET 6 INCHES...180 POUNDS...BLACK HAIR...
BROWN EYES WITH SOME FACIAL HAIR...IN CONNECTION WITH HER
ABDUCTION.


THE SUSPECT IS DRIVING A SILVER...2004...VOLKSWAGEN...PASSAT WITH
A TEXAS LICENSE PLATE NUMBER OF DF7T507. THE SUSPECT WAS LAST SEEN
IN THE CITY OF LUBBOCK.


LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS BELIEVE THIS CHILD TO BE IN GRAVE OR
IMMEDIATE DANGER.


IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION REGARDING THIS ABDUCTION...CALL THE
NACOGDOCHES COUNTY SHERIFF`S OFFICE AT 936-560-7794.

NEWS MEDIA POINT OF CONTACT IS NACOGDOCHES COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE
AT 936-560-7794.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 278. Naga5000:


No, just pointing out that it's quite okay to be humorous about religion. I think some folks have too thin of skin and read into things a bit too much. Sometimes a joke is just a joke. Carry on, indeed.

There are three things you're never supposed to talk about with others...

1) Don't talk about politics
2) Don't talk about religion
3) Don't talk about money

People in general are too serious these days.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32020
Quoting jrweatherman:


In California all they have to do is have a rain chance and they panic on the roads. The next week will be crazy on those freeways.

Tomorrow's rush hour won't be fun. It's bad enough with the first substantial rain any year but, with the long drought, there's probably about a quarter inch of oil built up on the freeways. LA may not have black ice but the first day of heavy rains comes pretty close.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 15068
Not much lightning on here but we did just have a nice strike over in Longwood and the rain is coming down in buckets right now.

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Just had a lightning strike close by here at my work.

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Quoting 278. Naga5000:


No, just pointing out that it's quite okay to be humorous about religion. I think some folks have too thin of skin and read into things a bit too much. Sometimes a joke is just a joke. Carry on, indeed.


Our country has become too thin about everything. Yes, sometimes a joke is a joke and it's not personal, laugh at it and move on.
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well i guess the infighting is going to go on in here for awhile..later guys...
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just starting to rain now by my house...yessss
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Quoting 276. sar2401:

Ah, I see. Two wrongs really do make a right. Carry on then.


No, just pointing out that it's quite okay to be humorous about religion. I think some folks have too thin of skin and read into things a bit too much. Sometimes a joke is just a joke. Carry on, indeed.
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Quoting 269. ricderr:
We got publicly called out:) Maybe when Jesus comes back I'll get to play a round of golf with him. I'll probably shoot my best score ever that day.


hey...i'll call out your posts but never denigrate you as a person.......
but most importantly......can i join and make it a threesome....this way i'll know he hears me when i miss a shot and call out jesus christ...i want to hear him say "what"


Not directed at you.

BTW - you need to go back from earlier and read a post of mine about GW. I think you would be surprised.
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Quoting Naga5000:


Not belittling anyone. Something could be said regarding the condescending "I'll pray for you" remark as well. Not everyone is Christian or religious for that matter.

Trust me, if Jesus came back and saw my remark, everything I know about the guy tells me he would probably not condemn me for all eternity for a bit of humor. Heck, he might even get a kick out of it.

Ah, I see. Two wrongs really do make a right. Carry on then.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 15068
Quoting 273. jrweatherman:


Looking like some nice widespread rain coming in. Much of Central Florida is in for a nice soaking. Not seeing anything severe. Thought we might inland but not so sure now.


Nope we got some very heavy rain with visibility less than a mile right now but now lightning so far just torrential rain.

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Quoting 268. StormTrackerScott:


Yeah it's pouring right now. Round 1 is moving thru now and another bigger round is just west of Tampa about to move over you.



Looking like some nice widespread rain coming in. Much of Central Florida is in for a nice soaking. Not seeing anything severe. Thought we might inland but not so sure now.
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Quoting Dakster:
at least the bloggers here are not like these two.

Warning, don't drink or eat anything when watching this. I am not responsible for you destroying your computer or keyboard.

www.youtube.com/embed/V8SjkDq2ZwI

Wow, I thought that was a reality show about Marin County until it got toward the end there...you know? :-)
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 15068
Quoting 254. jrweatherman:


I'm sure your flowers are now in full bloom and your grass is greener than ever:) Can you send him to my house?


Sure. They are great. And they even come back and maintain your yard.
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yep coming straight in from the gulf...........
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We got publicly called out:) Maybe when Jesus comes back I'll get to play a round of golf with him. I'll probably shoot my best score ever that day.


hey...i'll call out your posts but never denigrate you as a person.......
but most importantly......can i join and make it a threesome....this way i'll know he hears me when i miss a shot and call out jesus christ...i want to hear him say "what"
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 266. jrweatherman:


btw- looks like your are getting it again?


Yeah it's pouring right now. Round 1 is moving thru now and another bigger round is just west of Tampa about to move over you.

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Quoting 258. sar2401:

No matter how much you may disagree with a poster, do you think you can not belittle the God he believes in? It's a matter of civility and maturity.


Not belittling anyone. Something could be said regarding the condescending "I'll pray for you" remark as well. Not everyone is Christian or religious for that matter.

Trust me, if Jesus came back and saw my remark, everything I know about the guy tells me he would probably not condemn me for all eternity for a bit of humor. Heck, he might even get a kick out of it.
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Quoting 265. jrweatherman:



Maybe you'll get a visit too:)


btw- looks like your are getting it again? I tried to quote back to Scott and quoted myself.

So Scott, it looks like you are getting it again?
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Quoting 257. StormTrackerScott:


But when you do it to me it's alright. Man please.


Maybe you'll get a visit too:)
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Great wunderphotos are another great theme on wunderground.com


Snowy Friday (Beaker)
After a major winter storm in the Twin Cities area, I spent Friday afternoon capturing a glimpse of the beauty left in the aftermath of the storm.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128259
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Keep it civil. Personal attacks, bickering, flaming, and general trollish behavior will not be tolerated. Disagreements are fine, but keep them civil and short.
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Quoting 257. StormTrackerScott:


But when you do it to me it's alright. Man please.


Activists like to play the 'victimhood' card.
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Quoting Naga5000:


He better call first. I don't like unexpected visitors. :)

No matter how much you may disagree with a poster, do you think you can not belittle the God he believes in? It's a matter of civility and maturity.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 15068
Quoting 237. luvtogolf:


We got publicly called out:) Maybe when Jesus comes back I'll get to play a round of golf with him. I'll probably shoot my best score ever that day.


But when you do it to me it's alright. Man please.
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256. ARiot
When C'thulu comes back, it's going to be stormy.

Bet on that, 'yall.
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the phrase for today is.........."Simmer Down Now"
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Quoting 249. Dakster:


Jesus was over at my house today doing the landscaping. Along with Pablo...


I'm sure your flowers are now in full bloom and your grass is greener than ever:) Can you send him to my house?
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Quoting 201. luvtogolf:


Another personal attack. I tried asking those questions and got ripped. And you wonder why?


That's not a 'personal attack'. A personal attack is when you call someone a braindead congenital idiot who has fewer than half a dozen interconnected neurons.
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Quoting luvtogolf:


We got publicly called out:) Maybe when Jesus comes back I'll get to play a round of golf with him. I'll probably shoot my best score ever that day.

Either that or you'll get your clubs dumped in the lake and be presented with a pass to a much warmer place. :-) I'm also a Christian and not ashamed of it. However, my religious beliefs should not trump what's scientifically provable. I can (but won't) quote Bible verses that show we're supposed to take care of what God has given us. Since global warming is clearly true, it's now up to us to find out why and if there's anything we can do to stop or moderate it. I'm loathe to say this is 100% caused by humans but I also don't think Jesus wants us to sit around on our duffs and do nothing until we find out for sure.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 15068
Quoting 246. intampa:
i hope you guys are right. seems like the past few times ive seen this radar look like this we end getting nothing here in the tampa area. well riverview that is... bring on the rain please
yeah we sure could use it...
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Quoting 237. luvtogolf:


We got publicly called out:) Maybe when Jesus comes back I'll get to play a round of golf with him. I'll probably shoot my best score ever that day.


Jesus was over at my house today doing the landscaping. Along with Pablo...
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Quoting 243. LargoFl:


I would have expected to see that shading all the way to the East Coast. They usually get some pretty good storms for out ahead of the main line.
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No severe warnings out so far.............
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Quoting 209. LargoFl:
yep almost to my area a lil later..
i hope you guys are right. seems like the past few times ive seen this radar look like this we end getting nothing here in the tampa area. well riverview that is... bring on the rain please
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Ahhh, but Jesus would have a edge with the Water Hazard,so nanna, nanna, nanna,.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128259
at least the bloggers here are not like these two.

Warning, don't drink or eat anything when watching this. I am not responsible for you destroying your computer or keyboard.

www.youtube.com/embed/V8SjkDq2ZwI
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Quoting 237. luvtogolf:


We got publicly called out:) Maybe when Jesus comes back I'll get to play a round of golf with him. I'll probably shoot my best score ever that day.


I get called out all the time even though I'm supposed to be on ignore..LOL..they are very angry people it seems..I guess if someone constantly thinks the world will be lost in 25 years it kinda makes them uptight I guess..

and yes best game ever..:)
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15285
Quoting 230. JNTenne:
Can you imagine how slippery those freeways are gonna be!


In California all they have to do is have a rain chance and they panic on the roads. The next week will be crazy on those freeways.
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Quoting 228. ncstorm:


When Jesus come back it wont be to complain about the planet that I can assure you..

I will be praying for you though..


He better call first. I don't like unexpected visitors. :)
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some heavy rain in this system...........
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.