Friday, January 31, 2014

Winter Storm Maximus Brings Heavy Snow to Western Mountains, Moves East: State-by-State Impacts

By: By Sean Breslin
Published: January 31,2014
Winter Storm Maximus dumped snow on Western states that have been passed over by countless storm systems this season. While the Sierra Nevada in Northern California saw nearly two feet of snow, it won't do much to help the devastating drought in the region.
"Maximus brought some much needed snow to California's Sierra Nevada Thursday into early Friday," said meteorologist Chris Dolce. "The storm is now on the move to the east and will bring widespread snow and ice to parts of the Midwest through Saturday. This wintry weather will impact cities such as Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit and Kansas City."
The storm could bring another foot of snow to higher elevations in the Rockies before pushing east for the weekend.
(FORECAST: Winter Storm Maximus)
Below is a rundown of the latest news coming from areas affected by Maximus.


Authorities at Grand Canyon National Park say a winter storm may be to blame for a fatal car accident near the south entrance.
They say a sedan and pickup truck collided about 2:15 p.m. Friday about three miles north of the park's South Entrance Station.
Park officials say a 24-year-old woman who was a backseat passenger in the sedan suffered fatal injuries. Her name and hometown weren't immediately released.
Park officials say sleet and snow was falling in the area at the time of the accident, which is being investigated by the National Park Service and Coconino County authorities.


Though nearly 2 feet of snow fell in parts of the Sierra Nevada in Northern California this week, the system provided only a few sprinkles of rain. The San Francisco Bay area has had only about 10-20 percent of the precipitation that it usually gets this time of year, said National Weather Service forecaster Diana Henderson. San Francisco International Airport normally has 11.35 inches by this point in the season, but it has had only 1.5 inches. Santa Rosa Airport normally gets 20.71, but has had only 2.10 this season.
"So far, it's been a very dry year. The last time we had measurable rain around the Bay Area was Dec. 7," she said. "That is not what we think of as typical."
(MORE: Finally, an Answer to the Prayers of Californians)
More than 21 inches must fall by the end of the rainy season on June 30 — an unlikely prospect — for the region to get back to its normal levels, Henderson said.


Maximus is pounding parts of Colorado, dumping near 2 feet of heavy snow, hampering travel and causing power outages. The National Weather Service has posted a winter storm warning for northern and western Colorado, including much of the Denver area where power outages were reported Thursday night. About 2 feet of snow is possible in parts of the mountains, and 10 inches in Denver. Preliminary snowfall reports Thursday evening included 21 inches near Breckenridge, 19 near Dillon, 18.5 near Fraser and 16 near Frisco. The Colorado Department of Transportation closed the Loveland and Berthoud passes and reported slick road conditions in many areas, including along Interstate 70. Nearly 170 flights at Denver International Airport were canceled Thursday. Most of the cancelations involved flights to mountain towns.
A crash has closed a stretch of Interstate 25 from Fort Collins to the Wyoming border, and I-70 has reopened after a semi truck jackknifed near Golden, according to local reports.


Heavy snow is forecast for northern and central Illinois on Saturday. The Illinois Department of Transportation says plows and weather crews are on standby to deal with the snow. The Chicago National Weather Service Forecast Office has issued a Winter Storm Warning in Chicago, beginning at 9 p.m. Friday and lasting until 6 p.m. Saturday.


In northeastern Indiana, parts of the region received about an inch of snow overnight into Friday, along with winds gusting to about 20 mph at times. Whitley County officials urged caution on rural roads Friday morning.
Meanwhile, The National Weather Service is debunking rumors circulating on social media that the winter storm could dump up to 30 inches of snow on parts of Indiana next week, The Indy Channel reports.


Michigan is bracing for another round of winter weather this weekend after a frigid, snowy January that broke records in parts of the state. Through Thursday night, the weather service says the Detroit area saw 39.1 inches of snow in January. That earlier broke the record for January and now tops the record for the all-time snowiest month for the Detroit area of 38.4 inches set in February of 1908.


As much as 8 inches of snow was reported Thursday morning at Gardnerville, 5 inches in Lyon County's Smith Valley and 4 inches in Carson City and Yerington, the National Weather Service said. More than an inch of rain fell in Verdi just west of Reno. The state highway from Reno to Virginia City was temporarily shut down while snow plows worked to clear the way to a half dozen minor traffic accidents on the slippery mountain road Thursday morning, and schools were closed there too.
The same front brought strong winds into southern Nevada, where a high-wind warning remained in effect until 8 p.m. Thursday in Red Rock Canyon and the Spring Mountains. Another weak weather system was expected to bring additional light snow accumulations to the Sierra and western Nevada into Friday morning, with an inch or two possible in Reno and Carson City.


Maximus dumped heavy snow and slickened roads and highways in Wyoming. Interstate 25 is back open from Cheyenne to the Colorado line. The highway was closed for about four hours Friday morning.
MORE: Wildfire Hits Los Angeles Earlier in the Month
A man walks through the Azusa Pacific University parking lot as wildfires burn in foothills on January 16, 2014 in Azusa, California. (Dan R. Krauss/Getty Images)

Winter Storm Maximus to Bring Snow, Ice to Over 30 States Through Monday

By: By Jon Erdman
Published: January 31,2014
Winter Storm Maximus, the 13th named storm of the winter season in the U.S., will lay down a wintry mess from coast to coast by the time it is finally over Monday morning.
This storm will have multiple waves of snow, sleet and freezing rain sweeping west to east across the country.
Let's break the details day by day.


Latest Radar

Latest Radar


Saturday's Forecast

Saturday's Forecast


48-Hour Snowfall Forecast

48-Hour Snowfall Forecast


Saturday's snow will be spread among several regions.
First, snow will continue over parts of the northern and central Rockies. Additional snowfall amounts in excess of one foot is likely over the high country of Colorado through early Saturday.
(MAP: Western snowfall forecast)
A second area of light to moderate snow will camp out in west-to-east fashion over the Plains Friday, then intensify Friday night into Saturday from the Missouri Valley to northern New England.
By Saturday morning, significant snow will be falling from Iowa and far northern Missouri into southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois, Lower Michigan, far northern Indiana and northern Ohio. Expect challenging travel Saturday morning in these areas, along with airport delays and cancelations.
(FORECASTS: Chicago | Detroit)
As Saturday progresses, the snow shield will pull quickly to the northeast. By Saturday night, the only lingering snow in the East should be over Upstate New York and far northern New England. Farther south along the trailing cold front, precipitation should fall as rain from western New York into the Ohio Valley and Mid-South.
Total snow accumulations east of the Rockies through late Saturday should be highest in a zone from southern Iowa and northern Missouri to northern Illinois, northwest Indiana and Lower Michigan, with over six inches likely. Some local accumulations of a foot cannot be ruled out.
There will also be areas of sleet and freezing rain from Kansas eastward into the Ohio Valley. While a few areas may pick up ice accumulations over one-quarter inch, leading to some sagging tree limbs and sporadic power outages, this does not appear to be a major ice storm capable of downing numerous trees and triggering massive power outages over a widespread area.
By midday Saturday, any freezing rain will have ended in these areas, or changed over to rain.
That's not all, folks. One final conclusion to Maximus will sweep through a different area starting Sunday.

Sunday's Forecast

Sunday's Forecast

Monday's Forecast

Monday's Forecast


With Super Bowl Sunday coming up, it's left many wondering: Will Winter Storm Maximus affect the big game?
At this point it looks like precipitation is unlikely in northern New Jersey around kickoff. That is welcome news to thousands of people that will be there for the game.
(MORE: Super Bowl 2014 Weather Forecast)
Otherwise, yet another wave of wintry precipitation kicks off early Sunday in the Southern Plains, spreading to the Ozarks Sunday afternoon, then sweeping quickly through the Appalachians and, potentially, at least part of the Northeast Sunday night and Monday.
Snow accumulations Sunday look most likely in a stripe from northwest Texas into parts of Oklahoma and northern Arkansas, with several inches of accumulation possible. We'll hone in on those details as we get closer to the event.
(FORECASTS: Wichita Falls | Ft. Smith)
We can't rule out patchy areas of sleet or freezing rain along the southern edge of this wintry stripe Sunday into early Monday from parts of north Texas into Arkansas, Tennessee, and Virginia.
The forecast for the East Coast Monday, frankly, is highly uncertain, ranging from the following ends of the spectrum:
  • Option A: A minimal stripe of light snow, freezing rain or sleet mainly south of the Mason-Dixon line. 
  • Option B: Wintry mess of snow, sleet and freezing rain affecting a significant portion of the I-95 urban corridor from southern New England to the Mason-Dixon Line, and perhaps south of there.
To be clear, option B above would likely not be a major snowstorm with high winds and, say, 10-inch-plus snowfall totals over a widespread area. However, that would have the potential for several inches of snow, leading to significant travel headaches Monday by road and by air.
(FORECASTS: Boston | NYC | Philly | Wash, D.C.)
Check back with us at and The Weather Channel for the latest on Winter Storm Maximus.

MORE: Winter Storm Maximus Photos

Snow accumulates near Denver during Winter Storm Maximus on Jan. 30, 2014. (Courtesy of KUSA/

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal's Staff Acknowledged Danger of Winter Storm Leon 24 Hours in Advance; Apologies Issued for Atlanta Gridlock

By: By Sean Breslin
Published: January 31,2014
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal's staff began questioning Georgia Emergency Management Agency Director Charley English about preparations for Winter Storm Leon nearly 24 hours before the storm began to cripple Atlanta roads, according to an report.
Emails obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution show that Chris Riley, Deal's chief of staff, asked English why contact hadn't been established between the two as Leon closed in on the state.
“Everyone keeps trying to tell me how bad the weather is going to be but I keep saying if the weather was going to be bad, Charley would have called and he hasn’t called me,” Riley said to English in one of the emails posted by
The report added that the two spoke on the phone before the storm. English has admitted fault for the city's poor storm preparation.
(MORE: Mom, Infant Rescued From the Gridlock)
Overnight Thursday, 147 cars were towed from Georgia roads after the 9 p.m. deadline for drivers to claim abandoned cars had passed, according to NBC News. Towing ended at 4:30 a.m. Friday morning, and drivers can call 511 to get details about their relocated cars.
Deal, who initially called the storm "unexpected" and said federal forecasters were wrong despite the fact that winter storm warnings were released at 3:38 a.m. Tuesday, was contrite at a news conference Thursday.
"We did not make preparations early enough," Deal said. "I'm not going to look for a scapegoat. I am the governor. The buck stops with me."
Deal mentioned English, who has worked for the agency nearly 20 years, directly when discussing the mistakes Thursday.
"I made a terrible error in judgment earlier, late on Monday afternoon and early Tuesday," English said. He also acknowledged making "inaccurate and regretful" statements about Georgia's response at an earlier news conference. He said he didn't notify the administration about the storm's impact on Atlanta until about 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Deal told reporters there will be an internal review of all agencies and revisions made to protocols to respond to severe weather forecasts.
(MORE: Here's How to Retrieve Your Abandoned Car in Atlanta)
The governor offered condolences to the families of children who had to spend Tuesday night at their school, or even worse, in a school bus stranded on the roads.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has offered apologies and defensive explanations to the chaos the weather created.
Reed, who has taken heat in the national media, has said the city is not directly responsible for the interstates, and that many of the wrecks and scenes of gridlock were outside the city. Both Reed and the governor said they don't control school district decisions.
Many school districts throughout the metro area – including Atlanta, DeKalb, Fulton and Cobb County – remained closed to students Friday, and Deal extended a state of emergency through to Sunday night. The declaration was extended to allow the state to continue using certain resources to help local governments clear roads and deal with other storm-related issues, Deal said.
On Thursday, residents and officials began the tedious process of matching up drivers with their abandoned cars on interstates and side streets. The Georgia Department of Transportation provided HERO units to transport motorists to their cars, if needed, and assisted in jumping dead batteries or providing gas for automobiles that ran out of fuel.
Police began impounding cars that remained unclaimed starting at 9 p.m. Thursday.
In all, there were more than 1,460 crashes between Tuesday morning and Wednesday evening, including two fatal crashes, and more than 175 injuries, according to the Georgia State Patrol.
Temperatures in the region were expected to reach the low 50s on Friday, which should help officials clear ice accumulations from local roads. Temperatures are expected to remain well above freezing and reach the low 60s Sunday.
Snow covers the grounds at Talladega Superspeedway Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Talladega, Ala. (AP Photo/David Tulis)

Moon Upstages the Erupting Sun (PHOTOS)

By: By Laura Dattaro
Published: January 31,2014

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory caught this picture of the moon (black cricle) passing in front of the sun just as it was emitting a solar flare (left side of sun). (NASA/SDO)
A solar flare erupted from the sun yesterday morning just as the moon passed between the sun and a NASA satellite, resulting in some amazing pictures and video of an eclipse only visible from space.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has been orbiting the Earth and keeping eyes on the sun since its launch in February 2010. Yesterday morning starting at 8:31 a.m. Eastern, the moon passed between the Earth and SDO for about an hour and a half, the longest such transit ever recorded, providing ample time for SDO to snap pictures of the black circle of the moon eclipsing the fiery sun. These transits occur two to three times each year, according to NASA.
In the photos, the moon appears nearly as large as the sun, due to the moon being so much closer to SDO than our star, which is nearly 93 million miles away from Earth. (The farthest the moon ever gets from Earth is about 400,000 miles.) The moon’s edge is so sharp in the photos because it has no atmosphere to distort the sun’s light.
At the same time as the eclipse, the sun decided to put on a show and emit a mid-level flare, which peaked at 11:11 a.m., just as the moon began to pass out of view. Solar flares are bursts of light that happen when sunspots or structures called filaments erupt and release their energy. (MORE: Huge Sun Explosion Captured by NASA Photos)
The flares send waves of charged particles out into space, which, if they reach Earth, can disrupt communications and GPS satellites but won’t harm humans. Yesterday’s flare was also accompanied by a phenomenon called a coronal mass ejection (CME), which sends material from the sun shooting out into space and causes auroras when they reach Earth’s atmosphere.
The current CME isn’t headed directly toward Earth, according to NOAA, but could cause minor geomagnetic storms in the next few days.
MORE: Amazing Facts About the Sun
The sun will continue to grow in size as it burns up hydrogen. In a couple billion years, it will get hot enough that all life on Earth will die; in about five billion years, it's expected to overtake the Earth itself. (NASA/SDO)

California Drought Reaches New Level of Severity Never Recorded on U.S. Drought Monitor in the State

By: By Chris Dolce
Published: January 31,2014
California's historic drought reached a new milestone Thursday when the newly released U.S. Drought Monitor showed that exceptional drought now covers 9 percent of the state.
(MORE: Stunning Before and After Photos of California's Depleted Lakes)


Drought Monitor

Exceptional drought (darkest red) now covers nine percent of California.
This is the worst possible category of drought in the analysis and is the first time since the Drought Monitor analysis was started in 2000 that any part of the Golden State has seen exceptional drought. The exceptional drought extends from north to south across parts of 11 counties including, southeast Santa Cruz, far southern Santa Clara, San Benito, Merced, western Fresno, eastern Monterey, eastern San Luis Obispo, western Kern, western Madera, Kings and southwest Tulare.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor report, impacts in the exceptional drought area range from wells running dry to no food sources for cattle to graze on, forcing livestock to be sold off.
Extreme drought coverage, the second worst category, also increased over the previous week to 67 percent. This is nearly double the coverage of extreme drought that was recorded in the 2007 drought (35 percent), which previously had the highest percentage of extreme drought prior to January 2014.
(MORE: Lack of Snowpack on Mount Shasta Shows California Drought)
In what is typically one of the wettest months of the year, January 2014 has turned out to be among the driest in history for some cities. Here's a few examples:
  • San Francisco: This was the first January in recorded history with less than a quarter inch of rain. Through Jan. 30, the city had just one-hundredth of an inch of rain.
  • Los Angeles: No measurable rain fell in Los Angeles during January for only the fifth time since 1878.
  • Redding, Sacramento, Stockton: All recorded their third driest January.
MORE: Drought Landscapes
Cracked mud. (Thinkstock/Jupiterimages/Getty Images)

National Weather Summary for January 31,2014 from

Weather Underground midday recap for Friday,January 31,2014

A cold front stretched across parts of the Southwest and the Intermountain West on Friday, while a separate frontal boundary extended from the southern Plains to the Great Lakes.

Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories were issued across parts of the central Plains, the Middle Mississippi Valley and the upper Midwest on Friday as a swath of snow showers pushed over several states. Light to moderate snow fell in portions of Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan, as Hillsdale, Mich., reported a midday total of 1.0 inches of snow. The northern Plains and upper Midwest avoided precipitation as a high pressure system dominated the region. Very cold, blustery conditions swept across several states due to an arctic air mass over the area, as Pine River, Minn., recorded a morning low of -27 degrees, while Hibbing, Minn., recorded a morning low of -26 degrees. The southern Plains and the Gulf Coast stayed warm and sunny on Friday, as Breckenridge, Texas recorded a midday high of 81 degrees.

Along the Eastern Seaboard, light snow fell in parts of the Northeast, while a frontal boundary triggered showers and thunderstorms over Florida. Melbourne, Fla., reported a midday total of 1.98 inches of rain, while Fort Lauderdale, Fla., reported a midday total of 1.31 inches of rain.

Out west, a separate frontal boundary produced heavy snow showers over the central Rockies as winter storm warnings were issued in eastern Utah, Colorado and northern New Mexico. Gunnison, Colo., reported a midday total of 15.0 inches of snow. The West Coast stayed mostly clear of rain and snow, although light rain moved across parts of the Pacific Northwest.

This Date in Weather History for February 1,2014 from

Weather History
For Saturday,February 1,2014
1893 - Thunder and lightning accompanied sleet and snow at Saint Louis MO during the evening hours, even though the temperature was just 13 degrees above zero. (The Weather Channel)
1951 - The greatest ice storm of record in the U.S. produced glaze up to four inches thick from Texas to Pennsylvania causing twenty-five deaths, 500 serious injuries, and 100 million dollars damage. Tennessee was hardest hit by the storm. Communications and utilities were interrupted for a week to ten days. (David Ludlum)
1951 - The temperature at Taylor Park Dam plunged to 60 degrees below zero, a record for the state of Colorado. (Sandra and TI Richard Sanders - 1987)
1985 - Snow, sleet and ice glazed southern Tennessee and northern sections of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The winter storm produced up to eleven inches of sleet and ice in Lauderdale County AL, one of the worst storms of record for the state. All streets in Florence AL were closed for the first time of record. (1st-2nd) (The Weather Channel)
1987 - A storm in the Pacific Northwest produced wind gusts to 100 mph at Cape Blanco OR, and up to six inches of rain in the northern coastal mountain ranges. (The National Weather Summary) (Storm Data)
1988 - Thirty cities in the eastern U.S. reported new record high temperatures for the date, including Richmond VA with a reading of 73 degrees. Thunderstorms in southern Louisiana deluged Basile with 12.34 inches of rain. Arctic cold gripped the north central U.S. Wolf Point MT reported a low of 32 degrees below zero. (The National Weather Summary) (Storm Data)
1989 - While arctic cold continued to invade the central U.S., fifty-four cities in the south central and eastern U.S. reported new record high temperatures for the date. Russell KS, the hot spot in the nation with a high of 84 degrees the previous day, reported a morning low of 12 above. Tioga ND reported a wind chill reading of 90 degrees below zero. (The National Weather Summary)
1990 - Thunderstorms associated with an upper level weather disturbance produced severe weather across the eastern half of Texas during the late afternoon and evening. Four persons were injured at Waco TX where thunderstorms produced wind gusts to 80 mph. Thunderstorms produced wind gusts to 97 mph at Cotulla TX injuring two other persons. Golf ball size hail was reported at Whitney and northeast of Whitsett. (The National Weather Summary) (Storm Data)

This Date in Weather History for January 31,2014 from

Weather History
For Friday,January 31,2014
1911 - Tamarack, CA, was without snow the first eight days of the month, but by the end of January had been buried under 390 inches of snow, a record monthly total for the U.S. (The Weather Channel)
1949 - The temperature at San Antonio, TX, plunged to a record low of one degree below zero. Helena MT reached 42 degrees below zero. (David Ludlum)
1966 - A blizzard struck the northeastern U.S. When the storm came to an end, twenty inches of snow covered the ground at Washington D.C. (David Ludlum)
1982 - A snowstorm struck Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. Twenty-five inches of snow at Greenville IL, located east of Saint Louis, paralyzed the community. The storm left 4000 motorists stranded for two days. (David Ludlum)
1987 - A storm in the Pacific Northwest produced wind gusts to 85 mph in Oregon, and nearly two inches of rain in twelve hours in the Puget Sound area of Washington State. Ten inches of snow at Stampede Pass WA brought their total snow cover to 84 inches. (National Weather Summary) (Storm Data)
1988 - Thirty-one cities in the central and northeastern U.S. reported new record high temperatures for the date, with many occurring during the early morning hours. Temperatures in western New York State reached the 60s early in the day. Strong northerly winds in the north central U.S. produced wind chill readings as cold as 60 degrees below zero in North Dakota. (National Weather Summary)
1989 - The barometric pressure at Norway, AK, reached 31.85 inches (1078.4 mb) establishing an all-time record for the North American Continent. The temperature at the time of the record was about 46 degrees below zero (The Weather Channel). Severe arctic cold began to invade the north central U.S. The temperature at Great Falls MT plunged 85 degrees in 36 hours. Valentine NE plummeted from a record high of 70 degrees to zero in just nine hours. Northwest winds gusted to 86 mph at Lander WY, and wind chill readings of 80 degrees below zero were reported in Montana. Sixty-four cities in the central U.S. reported record highs for the date as readings reached the 60s in Michigan and the 80s in Kansas. (National Weather Summary) (Storm Data)
1990 - High winds in Montana on the 28th, gusting to 77 mph at Judith Gap, were followed by three days of snow. Heavy snow fell over northwest Montana, with up to 24 inches reported in the mountains. An avalanche covered the road near Essex with six feet of snow. Snow and high winds also plagued parts of the southwestern U.S. Winds gusted to 54 mph at Show Low AZ, and Flagstaff AZ was blanketed with eight inches of snow. (National Weather Summary) (Storm Data)

World Weather Hot Spot for January 31-February 1,2014 from

Samuel's Hill,Australia: Heavy rain;received 4.71 inches of rain Thursday-Friday (January 30-31,2014),from Tropical Cyclone Dylan

Today's Worst Weather for January 31,2014 from

Chili,Illinois: Snow

Snowstorm to Hit Kansas City, Chicago and Detroit

By , Expert Senior Meteorologist
January 31,2014; 8:29PM,EST
The first in a series of winter storms will reach from Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma to major hubs in the Midwest and southeastern Canada spanning Friday into Saturday.
A push of cold air coinciding with a storm moving up from the Southwest will trigger a zone of moderate to heavy snow on its northern and western fringe with a zone of ice hugging the southeastern fringe of the snow area.
@TheKissnerGroup tweeted: "And more snow in the USA Fri-Sat, from Denver to Kansas City, Chicago, & Detroit. Sick of shoveling yet? #snowstorm" Additional Relevant Tweets and Social Media Reaction

The snow and ice will hinder travel on the highways from the central Plains to the Midwest and can lead to flight delays and cancellations, not only in the same area, but also reaching out to other parts of the nation.
While winds will be light with the storm and ground blizzards are not expected, enough snow to plow will fall along much of I-70 over the Rockies and Plains and along I-80 in the Midwest.

According to Senior Meteorologist Mark Mancuso, "Snow will fall on major metropolitan areas from Denver to Kansas City, Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City."
A shallow push of cold air southeast of the snow area will lead to a zone of sleet and its more dangerous and disruptive cousin, freezing rain.

"Ice and/or a wintry mix will glaze surfaces from near Oklahoma City and Wichita, Kan., to St. Louis, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Cleveland," Mancuso said.
Farther south and east, warmer air will win the battle with only a brief and spotty, light wintry mix forecast in parts of northern Arkansas, Kentucky, West Virginia and much of the mid-Atlantic and southern New England. In these areas, most of the precipitation produced by the storm will be light rain or drizzle and includes the metro areas of Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Charlotte, N.C., and Atlanta.
RELATED: Severe Weather Center
AccuWeather Spring Outlook
Current AccuWeather Snow Map

A train of storms will follow from the South and Southwest well into February. The track of each storm will vary with some reaching toward the Great Lakes, some aiming for the mid-Atlantic and perhaps one or two causing wintry trouble in the South.
In the wake of each storm, colder air will sag southward, but not to the extreme experienced during the middle and latter part of January.
Earlier in the month, temperatures plunged below zero with high winds. At least with the cold settling in Sunday into Monday, winds will be much lighter in comparison then the coldest air is around. For example around Chicago, high temperatures will be within a few degrees of 10 F as opposed to highs near to slightly below zero during several episodes earlier during January. RealFeel® temperatures at the time had plunged to between minus 40 to minus 20 F.
However, just enough cold air will be laid down by each storm to cause a variety of freezing and frozen precipitation that could yield sizable snow and ice accumulation.

On Social Media
Cody Fields
Nice snowstorm for the Chicago WFO - city itself is expecting 6-10" of snow. Locations SE expecting .1-.25" of freezing rain/sleet. #ILwx
The Kissner Group
And more snow in the USA Fri-Sat, from Denver to Kansas City, Chicago, & Detroit. Sick of shovelling yet? #snowstorm

Who Will Get the Worst of Winter Storms Next Week?

By , Expert Senior Meteorologist
January 31,2014; 8:25PM,EST
One storm after another will affect much of the eastern half of the nation over the next couple of weeks and will unleash multiple rounds of travel problems and disruptions to daily activities. However, which areas are most likely to be hit with snow, ice and rain will vary with the track of the storm.
In the wake of a train of Alberta Clipper storms, a new train of storms has begun and will last into the middle of February. Unlike the clippers, which originate from western Canada and have little moisture to work with, the upcoming storms will be originating from the South and Southwest. They will be able to tap into a great amount of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean as they move along.
The latest information reveals that most of the storms will take a path toward the Great Lakes, which often yields a very complex precipitation pattern, especially in the Northeast.
Such a track would focus multiple rounds of heavy snow toward the Upper Midwest. At the end of the siege of storms, parts of the Upper Midwest could be buried under a few feet of snow.
RELATED: Severe Weather Center
Forecast Temperature Maps
Current AccuWeather Snow Map

One or more of the storm systems may be strong enough to bring severe weather to parts of the South.
In the mid-Atlantic and southern New England, when storms systems track in this manner, a period of snow and/or ice is often followed by rain. However, for interior areas, where cold air is trapped, there could be an extended period of ice. Heavy snow could still fall over the northern tier of the Northeast.
Cold air will briefly push southward and eastward in the wake of each storm, which will set the stage for snow and ice problems for following storms.
Warmer air ushered northward during the storms along the Atlantic Seaboard could raise concerns for ice jams on some major rivers over time.

Sunday-Monday Storm

The weakest and perhaps the sneakiest storm of the bunch is forecast to track from the southern Plains on Sunday to the mid-Atlantic coast on Monday. This storm will buck the trend so to speak.

Along the northern fringe of the storm will be a swath of generally light snow and ice originating from portions of New Mexico, Oklahoma and northern Texas on Sunday. The swath will continue to travel to the east Sunday night over northern Arkansas, southeastern Missouri and portions of Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia.
As this storm nears the mid-Atlantic coast, it could strengthen slightly, turn more to the northeast and grab more moisture. Snow could become heavier and shift northward and inland in this scenario on Monday.

Next Tuesday-Wednesday Storm

A stronger storm spanning Tuesday and Wednesday will likely be one of the storms that tracks toward the Great Lakes.

This storm is forecast to bring wind-driven snow from portions of the central and southern Plains to the middle part of the Great Lakes.
Mostly rain will fall in the I-95 corridor of the mid-Atlantic, but a period of snow and/or ice is likely at the onset Wednesday, especially in New England and the interior Northeast.
The storm could bring enough rain to yield flash and urban flooding problems from the Ohio Valley to parts of the Northeast.
Strong to severe thunderstorms may develop over the lower Mississippi and Tennessee valleys late Tuesday. Some of the storms may cross the southern Appalachians Wednesday.

Storm Late Next Week, Next Weekend

The track and intensity of the much-speculated storm toward next weekend is very questionable at this point.
One scenario has a modest storm tracking off the mid-Atlantic coast.
However, the storm next weekend could take a path similar to the Tuesday-Wednesday storm. As a result, similar concerns for snow, ice, rain and thunderstorms in relatively the same areas would follow suit.
According to Long Range Meteorologist Mark Paquette, "A frequent storm track toward the Great Lakes fits into the long-range plan into mid-February, where the most persistent and coldest air gets huddled over the North Central states and brief surges of mild air are pushed northward along the Atlantic Seaboard."
Storms that often track toward the Great Lakes attempt to re-form along the mid-Atlantic coast at the last minute. How quickly this occurs will determine whether or not rain changes back to snow along the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts and if temperatures fail to get above the freezing mark over some of the interior locations throughout the storm.
"At least for snow-weary folks in the South, the pattern does not favor snow and ice along I-10 and much of the I-20 corridor," Pacquette said.

On Social Media
@barrowman_angel Fun stuff Katie. Rain is good to wash away the snow, ice and debris from winter. But we got warm cold, warm cold. Blech.
Ric Kearbey
Winter Storm Warning for Scott, Morgan, Cass, Menard, Logan, Mason and DeWitt counties 9pm until 6p tomorrow. 2-5" snow and up to .3" ice.
Susan Samakow
Lot's of great stories of courage, leadership and resilience coming out of #Atlanta due to the snow/ice storm. . Congrats ATLANTA!

Top Five Weather Photos of the Week: Mayhem Ensues Amid Snow, Ice

By Kristen Rodman, Staff Writer
January 31,2014; 8:19PM,EST
Winter's fury unleashed snow and ice this week, creating chaos in multiple locations across the Northern Hemisphere.
In the last frontier state, an avalanche rocked the city of Valdez, blocking the city's only entryway and causing massive flooding.
Heading east, a snowstorm slammed the Twin Cities wreaking havoc on commuting traffic. Meanwhile, a rare winter storm inundated the South with snow and ice, ensuring chaos in the area.
Five Ways Cold Can Damage Your Car
AccuWeather Winter Weather Center
Five Unexpected Benefits of the Cold

An ocean away, across the Atlantic, another major storm dumped more than a foot of snow on parts of northern Bulgaria and eastern Romania, leading to considerable delays in railway and air traffic.
An avalanche on Jan. 27, 2014, blocks the only road into Valdez, Alaska, creating massive flooding in the region.(Twitter Photo/National Weather Service Alaska)
Two passersby come to the aid of a motorist with traction problems in the snow, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, in downtown Minneapolis where up to a half of a foot of snow was expected. (AP Photo)
While there was still not much snow in Montgomery, Ala., as of Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 28, 2014, ice had already formed across the city. (Photo/Julie Bennett and
In this view looking at Cobb Parkway at I-285, abandoned cars are piled up on the median of the ice-covered road after a winter snow storm slammed the city with over 2 inches of snow that turned highways into parking lots creating massive traffic jams lasting through Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Tulis)
A Romanian soldier clears snow around an old house in the village of Vadu Pasii, Romania, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

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On Social Media
Michael Thomson
@Mylilgarden We've been getting some news reports of ur weather. We've had 2 bad snow&ice winters in a row, but this one has been mainly wet
Rafał Łoś
Cool, winter storm warning means 6-10" of new snow on top of the 4" of pack snow/ice we have now ... should be interesting Chicagoland.

Meteorologists Debunk the Viral 'IS THIS SNOW?' Video

By Jillian MacMath, Staff Writer
January 31,2014; 8:15PM,EST
The internet exploded this week over a video of some very controversial snow that doesn't appear to melt when held to a lighter. The snow, which is shown being taken from a backyard in Michigan, never forms a puddle of water despite being exposed to a source of intense heat.
Though the creator of the video, among others, has linked the phenomenon to a chem trails conspiracy theory, there's a scientific reason for why the snow seemingly disappears, while an ice cube under the same conditions forms a puddle.
Both the ice cube and the snow melt when the flame is held to them. The difference between the two, however, is their water content.
An ice cube holds a significantly higher water content than a small pile of fluffy snow. Because the amount of melting ice condenses into more water, it takes longer to evaporate and, thus, forms a puddle.
The snow, however, has a significantly lower water content than the ice and therefore, condenses, becomes slushy and evaporates before ever pooling on the ground.
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The pile of snow, in this instance, is comparable to a sponge, Expert Meteorologist Bob Larson said.
"If you take a good, absorbent sponge and place it over a small puddle of water, it will soak it up," he said. "If you look closely, you see the surrounding snow soak up water from the melting snow in his video."
Water content does vary between different types of snow. The higher the water content, the more water will be left behind as it melts.
If both the ice cube and the snow were left out to melt, without an intense source of heat, the snow would have also formed a puddle, Larson said.
To answer the videographer's question: Yes, unequivocally, the cold, white stuff that fell from the sky in Michigan is snow. The light, fluffy stuff just didn't have a high enough water content, when paired with extreme heat, to result in a puddle.

On Social Media
Charles Gibson
@HoneyBadger10 snow is an awesome insulator. I watched a video the other day were it took more than45 mins to melt ice with a flamethrower.
Bill Periman
@Docs357 @Vet4America @darab_ic @Tierrah46 @blove65 Had friends in 2 states try it. The snow leaves no water trace. Melts, no puddle

Winter Storm Threat Evolves as Extreme Cold Eases in South, East

By , Expert Senior Meteorologist
January 31,2014; 8:13PM,EST
There is good news for folks hoping for a little break on heating bills and hoping to clean up the ice and snow that has accumulated in the Midwest, East and South. However, the pattern change may eventually evolve into storms that bring heavy precipitation.
For a large part of the eastern two-thirds of the nation, the severe cold will ease up and temperatures will climb to average or above-average levels during the first few days of February.
The most notable warmup will be in the South.

Temperatures will trend upward through the 50s and 60s late this week and are forecast to reach the 70s in portions of Texas and Louisiana this weekend.

From the Ohio Valley to the mid-Atlantic, temperatures will bounce back into the 30s and 40s as early as Friday. It may feel like springtime, almost. Temperatures at Punxsutawney, Pa., first thing Sunday morning look to be close to the freezing mark with a cloudy to partly cloudy sky.
A couple hundred miles farther east on Sunday at East Rutherford, N.J., football fans can expect temperatures to fall into the 30s in the evening, after rising to near 50 F during the afternoon. The region appears as though it will be in between two storm systems Sunday evening with some cloud cover, and the chance of a rain shower.
For folks who have trouble coping with the cold and who have been pent up in recent weeks, the break will provide an opportunity to get out of the house. Vehicles will be easier to start, and garage doors may open without the strange noises.
The northeastern third of the nation will backtrack toward colder weather around mid-month but not to the extreme of January. Since average temperatures trend upward during February the second half of the month will likely bring the greatest temperature departures relative to normal.
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Forecast Temperature Maps
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The pattern change marks an end to the train of Alberta Clipper storms that have helped to usher in the waves of bitterly cold air, ground blizzards over the North Central states and the snow almost every day in some locations.
The new pattern moving forward through February will still offer cold air, just not quite as extreme over a large area as that of the last several weeks.
However, the pattern will not be without storm systems.
With moisture and storms beginning to move in from the Pacific Ocean, some of the storms will take a southward dip toward the Gulf of Mexico, where they will grab more moisture.
While there will be more separation between precipitation events, the upcoming pattern into February looks to be rather stormy at times. Episodes of rain and thunder will visit the south with rounds of snow, ice and rain from the central Plains to the Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic and periods of snow over the northern tier states.
The series of storms is forecast to begin this weekend. These will pose forecast challenges related to timing and position of the areas of snow versus wintry mix versus rain. Along the northern and western fringes of these storms will be issues with slippery travel and travel delays.
The first two systems appear to be rather weak, but they can spread a swath of precipitation from the lower Mississippi Valley and the southern Plains to the Northeast Friday into Monday.

A swath of moderate to heavy snow is forecast during the first storm Friday and Saturday reaching from northern Missouri and southeastern Iowa through Chicago and Detroit and then on to Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario, and Montreal and Quebec City, Quebec. Light snow and a wintry mix will affect northern upstate New York and northern New England. Expect significant travel delays from this storm in the Midwest and in part of southern Canada.
One of the larger of the storms could bring substantial precipitation and widespread travel disruptions from eastern Texas to New England spanning next Tuesday and Wednesday.
The track and coverage of precipitation on the storm for the middle of next week is subject to change.
The storm during the middle of next week may bring a dose of drenching rain and locally strong thunderstorms to the South. On the northern and western fringe of the storm, snow and a wintry mix would fall with the potential for a heavy accumulation in part of the Midwest and Northeast.
Another large storm may or may not materialize for the second weekend of February. has released its spring forecast outlook. The nation will have to wait a bit to hear what Punxsutawney Phil has to say.
While temperatures will get above freezing during the day in the pattern, ice can form on areas that were previously wet at night. Folks in the South should continue to exercise caution the next few days until all of the snow and ice from the recent storm has gone away.
The recent extreme cold has allow ice to build up on area rivers in the north and ice flows will be monitored closely. However, the thaw should be gradual and slight enough in most cases to avoid major ice jams, at least in the short term.

On Social Media
Oldham Weather
TONIGHT Some early flurries of snow & sleet to lower levels. Easing away soon. Cloudy o'night. Some ice on higher routes. Cold. 0-1'C
It was a lovely day today - hitting 80℉. I hope y'all all take care & stock up in preparation for Sunday's cold front with snow & ice.
King Daddy Alexander
@Tearoze lol what do you mean? That's ridiculously cold! I'm originally from Florida… We just had a ice/snow storm here in atlanta and it

WeatherWhys for January 31,2014 from

Three years ago, the Groundhog Day Storm tracked from the Plains, across the Midwest and to New England. The storm evolved into an all-out blizzard across the southern Great Lakes. Chicago was brought to a virtual standstill as 21.2 inches of snow buried the city. Wind gusts in excess of 55 to 70 mph severely blew and drifted the snow around. The 13.6 inches of snow that fell alone on Feb. 1, 2011, remains Chicago's snowiest February calendar day.

Powerful Storm Battering Ireland and UK

By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
January 31,2014; 8:10PM,EST
A powerful frontal boundary blasted across Ireland and the United Kingdom on Friday with gusty winds and heavy rainfall.
The heaviest rainfall is expected in London during the late afternoon and evening hours.
Ahead of and during the frontal passage, winds over 40 mph will be possible along with a period of moderate to heavy rainfall.
Large waves crash onto the road in the coastal village of Carnlough, Northern Ireland, Friday, Jan. 3, 2014. Similar large waves will impact the region Friday night into Saturday. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Flooding is again be a concern as heavy rainfall falling on already saturated ground can quickly renew flooding problems.
Paris can expect a period of rain later Friday night into Saturday morning before the front pushes farther east.
The front will then weaken as it continues eastward across Europe; however, the low pressure center will shift southward, just west of Scotland leading to more unsettled weather for Ireland and the United Kingdom on Saturday.
United Kingdom Weather Center
Ireland Weather Center
Detailed London Forecast

While squally showers will be common across Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland on Saturday, the wind will be the bigger story.
Wind gusts over 50 mph are expected to be common from Northern Ireland through Ireland and into Wales and southwest England. Isolated gusts over 70 mph will be possible in western Ireland and other exposed coastal locations.
Another concern is that phenomenal waves will batter the coast of Northern Ireland, Ireland and southwest England from Friday night into Saturday.
Waves over 10 meters (33 feet) are expected, which can lead to widespread coastal flooding and closure of roadways near the coast.
A very stormy pattern is expected to continue through next week across Ireland and the United Kingdom.

On Social Media Videos
Breaking: Overnight Snow Targets Chicago
Cold temperatures and snow will make for a slick commute in Chicago Saturday morning.
Jesse Ferrell
This wk was 2-year anniv. of deadly Alabama tornado outbreak (EF-3, EF-2s) of Jan. 2012

Harrisburg: Multiple Storms to Watch During February

By , Expert Senior Meteorologist
January 31,2014; 8:08PM,EST
While the worst of the cold is likely behind the Harrisburg, Pa., area for the balance of the winter, there are some storms worth monitoring through the first half of February.
Temperatures will reach above the 30-year average this weekend and will occasionally spike through next weekend. The average high and low for late January/early February is 38 and 23 F respectively. Average temperatures begin to trend upward during February.

A series of storms will affect the region through next week.
While spotty snow fell around the area on Friday, a storm this weekend will bring spotty rain to the area.
A rather weak storm on Monday has a chance of bringing a period of snow to the area. The worst case scenario, for those who do not want snow, would be a few inches and travel delays.
A storm during the middle of next week could be strong with heavy precipitation. Odds favor mostly rain with that storm, but just enough cold air may be around during the beginning of the storm to bring some ice and snow.
Another storm is being monitored for next weekend. For now with that storm the scale is tipped toward a similar outcome to the midweek event.
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On Social Media
Frank Strait
New vlog!… Warmups have their problems.
Freezing drizzle near the border of MO & IL in Maryville, IL, reports NWS spotter. Radar:
Erik Pindrock
Dangerous flooding threat across Argentina & Uruguay over the next week. 6"+ amounts likely.…