The Cold Blast Across the Country

As I mentioned in my WxRecap post earlier today, Kentucky wasn’t the only place in the US to see insane weather conditions. The cold blast moved south and eastward across the eastern 2/3rds of the country. Even if the West Coast wasn’t impacted by the bitter cold, it was still impacted by the same system. So lets take a look across the country to see what we can see about the wild weather.

The East Coast

Before the Low pressure put much of the region in the warm sector yesterday, a mixed bag of wintry precip affected much of the eastern US. Heavy snow fell in New York and New England, with freezing rain affecting many areas in the DC-Delaware-Maryland-Virginia region.

Freezing rain and slick roads caused major issues in the Maryland area, especially. A 55 car accident occurred on I-95 in Maryland on Saturday.

Luckily, temps warmed up and prevented the region from seeing a disastrous ice storm, but what actually occurred was pretty bad by itself. Much of the area saw rain yesterday, but the cold blast eventually work its way in there.

The West Coast

The West Coast saw quite the interesting bag of weather last week. The mountains saw heavy snowfall, while the valleys and coastal regions saw rainfall. Even if the region didn’t see as much of a cold blast, it did see plenty of impacts.

However, Eugene, Oregon did see a pretty major ice storm that knocked out power to much of the city, and caused quite a bit of damage. The atmospheric river was rolling into the West Coast strong!

The Central US

The central US was mostly impacted by snowfall and the very, very, very cold air from the cold blast. The air that seeped into the US from western Canada is Arctic in nature, and has placed many regions in the north central portion of the country below zero. Chicago approached a low temperature record set in 1983!

Look at those air temps at O'Hare in Chicago. h/t NWS Chicago
Look at those air temps at O’Hare in Chicago. h/t NWS Chicago

Snow fell heavily from western South Dakota all the way through Wisconsin from Friday into Saturday. Then, it fell again (lighter, I will say) from Oklahoma, through Kansas and into the upper Midwest. It was a wintry few days for many up there. It even impacted the Division 2 Football National Championship.

The snowfall totals across the Upper Midwest. h/t NWS Twin Cities
The snowfall totals across the Upper Midwest. h/t NWS Twin Cities

By the time the front made it to Texas, some of the most ridiculous temperature gradients I had ever seen had developed, creating a dust storm in some places and just crazy cold in others.

The South

Ah, the south. This region was the last to be impacted by this cold blast (I had a nice rhyme in there). A lot of Saturday was spent in the cold in North Carolina and just to the east of the mountains. This was caused by cold air damming, which occurs a lot as a warm front can’t push past the smokies, and leaves the region to the east of them stuck in easterly to northeasterly flow.

By the time the cold blast had moved south enough, however, some severe weather occurred in Tennessee, and was then followed up by wintry precip. The same goes for northern Alabama. And just to hate on all of us, it is currently 83°F in Miami.