It may just be my imagination - perhaps I need to recalibrate my meds - but when it comes to the weather something seems....off. I can't quite put my finger on it yet, but the normal ebb & flow of the atmosphere is gummed up. The jet stream is misbehaving more than usual.
Exhibit A: two years ago it was already in the mid-60s; flowers were starting to pop. It was 80F. by mid-March! We had a 7 month boating season in 2012, the warmest year in recorded Minnesota history.
This winter? Coldest since the late 70s for much of the state. It's that variability, a jumbo case of weather-whiplash, that has us scratching our heads in wonder.
It's not just temperature extremes. Ask a farmer. We now live in perpetual drought, interrupted by an intense flood every now and then.
The forecast calls for greater swings of the weather pendulum, more eye-watering extremes.
For the record, I'm as happy as the next guy to see this week's thaw - I'm almost looking forward to studying the maps. A little rain early today ends as a coating of slush; a cool half foot for Chicago tonight, a foot for parts of New England. No intense weather drama here at home, just 40 wondrous degrees again by Thursday, followed by cooler weather next week.
But no Polar Vortex.
* Northern Hemisphere temperature anomalies for Monday courtesy of Climate Reanalyzer.
* thanks to Meteorologist In Charge Dan Luna at the Twin Cities National Weather Service for passing this along.
* Latest guidance more impressive for a burst of very heavy snow Wednesday morning from Chicago to Detroit. Some 8-12" amounts are possible, and sustained winds of 30-40 mph at the height of the storm will be capable of creating blizzard or near-blizzard conditions Wednesday.
* I expect numerous airline cancellations for Chicago and Detroit area airports Wednesday; traffic gridlock is possible on area highways as temperatures drop rapidly behind the storm, falling into the teens by late afternoon with a subzero wind chill.
* Blizzard conditions may extend to Toronto and Montreal late Wednesday and Wednesday night; I still expect 10-14" snowfall amounts for much of upstate New York and interior New England by Thursday.
* New York City will avoid heavy snow with this storm; the atmosphere warm enough for mostly rain.
Summary: Mid-March blizzards are unusual, but not unprecedented for the Great Lakes, and it looks increasingly like a major storm will temporarily shut down (most) travel by land and air. Wednesday will be the tough day, with some improvement Thursday. I would prepare staff and facilities for heavy snow, blowing and drifting and rapidly falling visibilities Wednesday with near blizzard conditions a very real possibility.
Paul Douglas - Senior Meteorologist - Alerts Broadcaster
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