Massive Northern U.S. Storm Today

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Fig. 1: NOAA/NWS weather watch, warning, and advisory areas.

Discussion: A massive Northern U.S. storm stretches from the Northwest Coast to New York State by early this afternoon (Fig. 1). Featured is heavy snow with high wind leading to blizzard conditions at times across the Dakotas to Minnesota and the northern Great Lakes where 1-2 feet of snow is possible and snow drifts cause greater than several foot pile-ups (Fig. 2). Just south of the heavy snow, a band of freezing rain accreting to >0.5 in. is expected (Fig. 3). Ice accretion of >0.5 in. will lead to widespread power outages. Chicago to Detroit is affected by the icing. A massive area of high wind is expected today covering the West Coast, Southwest U.S. and across the Great Plains and East-central States. Much colder air follows the storm, and the attendant cold front almost reaches the northwest Gulf Coast by Friday morning (Fig. 4). At that time, another Pacific storm roars inland across California. By early next week, another storm (all rain) reaches the East-central U.S. while another Pacific storm approaches the coast (Fig. 5). The latest U.S. gas population weight HDD forecast is a little warmer for next week and colder for Mar. 3-9 (Fig. 6).

Fig. 2: Snowfall forecast by the GFS model.

Fig. 3: Ice accretion forecast by the GFS model.

Fig. 4: NOAA/WPC synoptic weather map forecast for Friday morning.

Fig. 5: NOAA/WPC synoptic weather map forecast for next Monday morning.

Fig. 6: U.S. gas population weight HDD forecast utilizing all models, their consensus compared to 24 hours ago compared with the 30-year/10-year normal.