Monster storm and spring fever alert

Pixabay / MGN

HUNTINGTON/CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- With a late afternoon spurt, temperatures touched 70 degrees across much of the region on Wednesday. A quickening southeast breeze adding the finishing touches to this spring breakout. Now under the cover of darkness the gentle touch of that south wind will team with a deck of high clouds to keep readings in the 50s all night long.

By Thursday a broken sky will feature enough sunshine with a stiffening south wind to boost temperatures into the 70s by Thursday afternoon for the warmest day of the year so far. An expected soaring of tree pollen can be expected for Thursday.

Meanwhile an all-out blizzard of ferocious magnitude is roaring through parts of the high plains. Heavy “wind whipped” snows are raging from Denver to the Black Hills of the Dakotas. Hurricane force wind gusts are pummeling open areas from the foothills of the Rockies into the Northern Plains with major interstates shut down in spots due to the low visibility and drifting snow. An outbreak of severe thunderstorms armed with hail storms and tornadoes seems likely overnight into Thursday close by to the Mississippi River.

At late afternoon Wednesday, the barometric pressure in western Kansas hovered near 28.80 inches of mercury. That was akin to a strong summer hurricane!

In this case, the center of the storm is primed to move through the Dakotas and Minnesota-Wisconsin on its way to Ontario Canada. Using Omaha, Nebraska, to Portsmouth, Ohio, as the closest the core low pressure gets to our region, the storm will pass 1,100 miles to our west overnight. A path like this will spare our region the heavy rains and powerful winds that will strafe the Mississippi Valley.

Still starting Thursday afternoon through Friday morning, the vast circulation around the Midwest gyre will muster a steady flow of 15-25 mile per hour winds with an occasional gust to 40 miles per hour. Similar to this past Sunday, our winds will get to the brink of some power/cable TV flickers.

In addition the amount of rain we get with the passing front and its squall line of showers and thunder on Thursday late evening will be rather underwhelming (.25”-.5”), so no high water is expected at this time.

After the rain, a chill down into the St. Patty’s day weekend will begin Friday afternoon and last into much of next week so the saying ‘Erin go Chilly” will be apropos this weekend ahead.

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