Coming soon…

Spring is probably my favorite season. I prefer warm weather and baseball, and both return this time of year. With the warmth, the weather can get a little more interesting as well. Will it get interesting in any of the places we have forecasts for this week?

Boston, Massachusetts

Decatur, Illinois
Road Trip from Augusta, Georgia to Decatur

St. George, Utah

Louisville, Kentucky

Elizabethtown, Kentucky
Road Trip from Louisville to Elizabethtown

Coming soon…

We’re moving a little bit more quickly around here, aren’t we? It’s kind of fun. We have a busy week ahead, too, so lets hope I can maintain this pace.

Road trip from Ocean City, New Jersey to Lubbock, Texas

Cumberland, Maryland
Road Trip from Lubbock to Cumberland

Topeka, Kansas
Road Trip from Rapid City, South Dakota to Topeka

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Sacramento, California

What is a snow squall?

Today, a narrow band of snow swept through the Twin Cities. At one point, the wind and heavy downburst of snow brought I-94 northwest of Minneapolis to a close thanks to a multi-vehicle accident. The Weather Service then issued a snow squall warning, but what is a snow squall, exactly?

In laymen’s terms, I would describe it as something similar to a severe thunderstorm, where the precipitation isn’t necessarily the most noticeable feature to the storm. In the northwest Twin Cities metro, for example, there were 40-50mph winds associated with the quick burst of snow. Buffalo, Minnesota reported 2.5 inches of snow in 90 minutes.

That’s another thing about a snow squall. The “squall” is important, because it is akin to a squall line, as with thunderstorms. There is a leading edge, and a well defined end, particularly as the storm is at it’s strongest. Instead of a bloated mass of snow showers you get with a typical winter storm, it’s a quick, intense line.

The primary impetus for the National Weather Service issuing a snow squall warning is the reduction in visibility, such as was the case in the accident seen above. The strong winds and heavy snow lead to white out conditions, in which visibility is at or near zero. They are targeted like a thunderstorm or tornado warning, to a very specific part of the storm, even if the entire line stretches for a longer distance.

This was Minnesota’s first ever issuance of a snow squall warning. They more frequently appear east of the Great Lakes, and are quite the curiousity in Minnesota.