Blizzard and Cyclone Updates

The Midwest was slammed yesterday and overnight with, what will be in some areas, record snows. The totals aren’t all in yet but the map below shows snow cover over the affected portion of the U.S. as of mid morning Wednesday.

Some areas depicted on the map had snow on the ground before the storm hit but for a large swath from north Texas into the southern Great Lakes the snow measurements represent snow accumulated in this most recent storm. In Chicago, this storm produced 20.2 inches up to 10:30am(cst) and a little more may still fall. So far this is the windy city’s third biggest snowstorm. Speaking of windy, the highest wind gust recorded at O’Hare Airport on Tuesday was 61 mph. Most of northern Illinois, northern Indiana and extreme eastern Iowa received 16-20 inches of snow with this storm. The area between Chicago and Milwaukee received 21-24 inches of new snow.

Also noted on the map is the 8-12 inch snow cover over northern Maryland, still on the ground from last week’s storm.

In contrast to North America’s winter woes, summer has not been treating Australia very well. Yet another cyclone has struck the southern hemisphere continent.

The NRL supplied satellite image above shows cyclone “Yasi” just hours away from the Australian coast. When the storm center was 55 miles away from the coast, winds were estimated at 155 mph. The huge eyewall is even evident on this wide angle image.

A closer image a few hours later shows that the storm’s eye having had moved on shore. The storm made landfall just south of the city of Cairns.

It is an interesting coincidence that these weather extremes would occur at the same time at opposite ends of the world.

John Collins

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