As I’m sure you have heard, the east coast is getting blasted by yet another strong area of low pressure thanks to the standing long wave parked across North America. Things are a little different this time, because with spring arriving today, temperatures were a little bit warmer, and there was simply more energy available for the system to feast on.
Seeing the set up, the SPC put together their first moderate risk outlook across northern Alabama yesterday. A long track super cell indeed set up, and the forecast verified very well.
At least one large tornado moved through the area, and there was large hail between Huntsville and Birmingham. In particular, the college town of Jacksonville, Alabama (home of Jacksonville State) was hit by a tornado. Fortunately, the school is on break, and not only was the campus lightly populated, but not a soul in the entire state or even in Georgia, where the storm later ventured, was injured. That is a credit both to the forecasters and media, but also residents of the region heeding their warnings.
Warnings continue now up and down the east coast, but these are for rapidly accumulating snow. The good news is that the storm won’t bring nearly as much wind, but the orientation of the upper level jet and the cold pool, as well as a nearly stationary inverted trough mean that snow will be persistent and long lived. It looks like the most snow with this round is going to fall in the Philadelphia area.
I think this storm, given the warmth in the region, has a chance of underwhelming on snow totals, but even if it does get to the 10 inch range in Philly, that’s good enough, right?
The threat for nasty weather will shift to the west coast, and eventually the center of the country. A well deserved dome of high pressure is going to set up in the area later in the week.