Thursday, January 7, 2010

Next Arctic Blast colder and a serious threat

Next Arctic Blast colder and a serious 
James Wilson, Lead Meteorologist, The Weather Channel
Jan. 6, 2010 7:36 pm ET
Snow and strong winds will engulf the Midwest with a renewed batch of arctic air following close behind through Thursday.
Accumulations of 3 to 6 inches (locally up to 8 inches) are possible along the path of this latest winter storm. Cities included are Omaha, Neb., Kansas City, Mo., Des Moines, Iowa, Moline, Ill. St. Louis, Mo., and Indianapolis, Ind.
Moisture from Lake Michigan will enhance snowfall in the Milwaukee, Wis. to Chicago, Ill. corridor. Total accumulations of 8 to 12 inches are in the forecast for Thursday.
Behind the snow, strong winds gusting between 30 and 40 mph will develop through the Plains by tonight and spread eastward to the near the Mississippi River Thursday. Blowing and drifting snow is likely to lead to dangerous travel and the potential for near-blizzard or blizzard conditions in some locales.
Bitter cold air will keep the mercury from rising above zero in the Dakotas, northern Nebraska and western Minnesota Thursday. Wind chills will bottom out in the -20s, -30s and even -40s across these states.
Farther east, highs will range from the 0s and 10s in the upper-Mississippi Valley to the 20s in the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley.
By Friday morning, lows from Kansas and western Missouri northward to the Dakotas and Minnesota will be below zero. The coldest readings, -20s and -30s, are expected in the Dakotas and northern Minnesota.
A cold front will quickly move through the South tonight through Thursday.
Enough cold air will be in place to produce light snow beginning overnight in northern Arkansas and spreading to northern Mississippi and Tennessee by early Thursday morning.
During the day and into Thursday night, light snow will push across northern Alabama eastern Tennessee, northern Georgia and North Carolina.
Just south of this light snow corridor, a wintry mixture is possible.
Accumulations with this system will generally be on the light side with a dusting to an inch in most locations. Some spots may locally see up to 2 inches, especially in the higher terrain.
Rain showers will spread from the central Gulf Coast to southern Georgia and northern Florida.
Gusty winds will develop behind the system in Oklahoma and Texas tonight while spreading to the lower-Mississippi Valley Thursday.
Another shot of arctic air from the Midwest will keep temperatures well below average right through the weekend.
Highs Thursday will range from the 10s in far northern Oklahoma and northern Arkansas to the 50s along the Gulf Coast. Southern Florida will rise into the 60s.
Lows in the 10s and 20s will be common Friday morning. Northern Arkansas and the northern half of Oklahoma will hold in the 0s. Far south Texas and coastal Southeast will fall into the 30s.
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Northwest flow from low pressure in the Canadian Maritimes will continue to bring snow showers to far Northern New England and western New York Thursday. Mostly sunny skies are expected along the I-95 corridor with increasing cloud cover coming through the day and into the evening.
Snow from the Midwest system will eventually push into western Pennsylvania and West Virginia by late in the day and into the evening. Light snows will then head across the rest of the region Thursday night into Friday.
Behind the quickly departing storm, lake-effect snows will develop and continue into the weekend southeast of Lakes Erie and Ontario.
Colder air will flood into the region after Thursday's highs peak in the 20s and 30s.
By Friday, expect 10s and 20s across western New York, western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New England. Highs will top out in the low 30s from near New York City southward to the eastern Mid-Atlantic.
Even colder temperatures, up to 20 degrees below average, are expected by Saturday. Lows will be in the 0s, 10s and low 20s over the weekend.
The Southwest is the place to be for those suffering from the prolonged cold east of the Rockies. Highs will be in the several degrees above average 70s in southern portions of California and Arizona Thursday and Friday.
Montana, Wyoming and Colorado will not be so lucky with highs topping out in the 0s and 10s and wind chills well below zero. Portions of eastern Montana will be in the -0s and -10s with wind chills in the -30s and -40s.
Precipitation under an expansive area of high pressure will be rather limited. Some scattered snow showers are possible through the higher terrain from Nevada to the Southern Rockies.
Elsewhere, an offshore Pacific system may bring some showers in the Pacific Northwest later in the day and into the evening.

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