Wild and Wooly for Sure, but Could be Worse


Winter Storm a Big Bag of Wind at Home
It’s the eve before Groundhog Day and one thing for sure, the weather is in turmoil across the eastern two-thirds of the USA.
The enclosed e-picture is from Chicago, which could be heading for its greatest snowstorm in recorded history.
More on the wild and wooly weather across the USA later, but for now I want to focus on the Ohio, Big Sandy and Kanawha Valleys. Rain, wind and plummeting temperatures are in our immediate sight.
Rain has set in this Tuesday evening and will last until just after midnight. That rain should shut off quickly overnight with roads drying out before the big temperature plunge near dawn.
That drying will come thanks to a strong westerly wind which will arrive as we sleep, rattling the window panes and setting the wind chimes to humming. So I do not expect a slick morning rush hour by the time temperatures drop below freezing.
The wind will be our constant companion (nemesis) on Wednesday with gusts to 40 miles per hour in town and 50 on exposed hills. Airport departures and arrivals may be delayed and one thing for sure, it will be a bumpy ascent/descent out of/into Yeager and Tri-State airports.
As the cold settles in the temperature trend will be dramatic. Tuesday evening’s wet 50s will fall to the 40s after midnight and 30s by dawn. The wind chill at the school bus corner will already be in the 20s even as the sun breaks thru the thinning cloud cover.
Snow lovers, a mere dusting for most (inch or 2 in mountains) in Wednesday night flurries looks to be the best you can hope for as this powerhouse storm cranks its way into New England.
Meanwhile, an all out blizzard is raging this arctic night and will steamroll into Wednesday in the Midwest where towns like Chicago, Detroit, KC and St. Louis will be immobilzed. There snow is falling at the rate of 2 inches per hour with howling winds blowing the snow into mammoth drifts.
I suspect Chicago's O'Hare and Detroit's International airports will be closed most of Wednesday, with flights into and out of the Spirit of St Louis and KC International working on a much reduced schedule all day.
Of course, in between our rain shield and the fierce snowstorm, a crescent of ice has made travel (by car and foot) difficult from Indianapolis to Dayton and Columbus on Tuesday. That ice is by-passing Pittsburgh tonight by a hair but glazing over the burrow of Punxsatawney Phil in Jefferson County Pa. on its way to much of New England.

I for one await with bated breath the forecast of Phil on Groundhog Day and wonder out loud why February 2nd is not a national holiday?


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