Tornado Producing Blizzard

tt_highs_tue tt_blizzard_tornado

Low pressure over northern Michigan late Tuesday evening is sweeping a strong cold front through the midwest. The front has produced some wild weather as bitterly cold arctic air slams into unseasonably mild, spring-like air over the Mississippi valley. Severe thunderstorms rumbled ahead of the front Tuesday afteroon with reports of possible tornadoes near Okawville, IL and Gordonville, MO. A dramatic temperature drop across the cold front revealed a high of 73 at St. Louis Tuesday afternoon compared to a high of 10 below zero at Bismarck, ND! The strong winds associated with the frontal passage were producing widespread blowing snow in Iowa and northern Illinois, creating blizzard conditions. Some observations from the Chicago area Tuesday night included winds gusting to near 50 mph with visibility dropping to around 1/4 mile and wind chills around -20. The 11:00pm EST reports:

ITY           SKY/WX    TMP DP  RH WIND       PRES   REMARKS
OHARE SNOW 5 1 83 W29G46 29.41R VSB 1/2 WCI -19
MIDWAY SNOW 6 3 87 W28G40 29.43R VSB 1/2 WCI -17
AURORA SNOW 4 -1 80 W35G48 29.47R VSB 1/2 WCI -22
LANSING* SNOW 9 5 85 W18G39 29.41R VSB 1/2 WCI -10
JOLIET* HVY SNOW 5 1 85 W24G37 29.49R VSB 1/4 WCI -17
WAUKEGAN SNOW 7 2 80 W20G39 29.33R VSB 1/2 WCI -13
WEST CHICAGO HVY SNOW 4 -1 80 W28G40 29.45R VSB 1/4 WCI -20
WHEELING SNOW 6 2 83 W23G37 29.41R VSB 1/2 WCI -15
KANKAKEE* CLOUDY 10 7 85 W25G35 29.50R VSB<1/4 WCI -10
MORRIS* SNOW 7 3 85 W43G48 29.50R VSB 1/2 WCI -20
LEWIS AIRPORT* HVY SNOW 5 0 78 W33G41 29.45R VSB<1/4 WCI -20

ABBREVIATIONS USED IN REMARKS
WCI - WIND CHILL INDEX
VSB - VISIBILITY

Tie down the loose objects, this strong cold front is expected to move through Baltimore Wednesday morning. Gusty winds and falling temperatures will accompany the front with the possibility of a few rumbles of thunder before skies clear up. Another storm will move into the area Thursday night with a chance for freezing rain.

Tom Tasselmyer

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