Monday, February 29, 2016

5 Oddities From the Warm Side of Winter Storm Petros

Quincy Vagell
Published: February 26,2016

While Winter Storm Petros blanketed parts of the Midwest and Great Lakes with heavy snow, there was another side to this February storm. The ingredients came together to the south and east of the storm's track to produce tornadoes, damaging winds and record warmth.
(RECAP: Destructive Tornado Outbreak: Feb, 23-24)
It is not completely unusual for late winter storms to produce severe weather, but there were several record-breaking and unique feats accomplished by Petros this past week.
Here’s a look at five oddities and records from the warm side of Winter Storm Petros.

1. First Deadly February Tornadoes on Record in Virginia

A pair of deadly tornadoes ripped through Virginia on Wednesday. Three lives were lost in a mobile home in Waverly after an EF1 tornado tore through the community. A man was also found dead in Appomattox County after a destructive tornado hit the area.
Laundromat manager Brad Poindexter, of Danville, Va., walks over bricks at his damaged business after a deadly storm that swept through Waverly, Va., Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016.
(AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Prior to this year, there had never been a February deadly tornado in the state, according to NOAA's storm event database. The last killer tornado to impact Virginia was on April 27, 2011, when multiple tornadoes resulted in six deaths statewide.

2. First February Strong Tornado in Pennsylvania on Record

The tornado outbreak extended as far north as Pennsylvania, where a pair of rare February tornadoes were reported. The initial tornado was rated EF2 in Lancaster County, with winds up to 125 mph, marking the first instance of a strong (F2/EF2 or higher) tornado occurring in February in Pennsylvania.
People clean up in the aftermath of a storm Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016, in Gap, Pa. Crews in central and eastern Pennsylvania are working to restore electricity after strong storms moved across the state and possibly caused some tornadoes.
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Tornadoes in February are very rare in the state. In fact, prior to 2016, only one tornado had been reported in Pennsylvania since 1950. The second tornado on Wednesday was even farther north than the initial twister, impacting Bradford County in the northeastern part of the state.

3. Rare February Severe Watches, Warnings in New England

Ahead of the severe weather outbreak, severe thunderstorm watches were issued by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) as far north as Massachusetts and southern Vermont late Wednesday and early Thursday. The last time such a watch had been issued in February in the area was back in 1997.
A severe thunderstorm watch was issued by the Storm Prediction Center late Wednesday night over parts of New England.
Even more uncommon were the severe thunderstorm warnings issued by the National Weather Service in Maine early Thursday morning.
To put the severe threat into perspective, the SPC issued a category 2 (slight) risk for parts of New England for Wednesday night into Thursday morning. The first slight risk for the region in 2015 was not issued until May 27.

4. Hurricane Force Winds Slam Parts of New England

The watches and warnings gave plenty of notice for the severe, damaging winds that tore through the region. Winds gusted as high as 83 mph at Blue Hill Observatory in Milton, Massachusetts.
Strong winds bring down trees and power lines in Newington, Connecticut.
(Jay Dobensky / @StormTrooperJay Twitter)
Other wind gusts to hurricane-force in New England included 76 mph at Bristol, Rhode Island and 75 mph at South Glastonbury, Connecticut.
The winds were strong enough to result in over 100 reports of wind damage from Connecticut to Maine. Tens of thousands of area residents lost power due to the number of downed trees and power lines from the storm.

5. Record Warmth and Moisture Too

Two key ingredients fueling the outbreak of severe weather were warm air and plentiful moisture, which created an unstable environment up much of the East Coast. It took record-breaking parameters for February to support such a significant event in the region.
A look at the severe weather setup that developed Wednesday night, allowing warm, moist air to surge up the East Coast.
Temperatures surged into the 50s all the way up to Maine early Thursday. A daily record high of 53 degrees was set at Portland shortly before 6 a.m., around the time that an average low temperature of 19 degrees would typically be expected.
In terms of moisture, a weather balloon launched from Caribou, Maine Thursday morning sampled the highest amount of precipitable water (a measure of moisture in the atmosphere) ever observed at the location in February.
MORE: Winter Storm Petros Photos

Late Week Snowmaker Possible in Midwest and Mid-Atlantic

February 29,2016
We are watching for the potential of another round of wintry weather in portions of the central and eastern states late this week. This possible snowmaker would come on the heels of Winter Storm Quo, which is spreading snow across the Midwest and interior Northeast into Wednesday.
Locations from the Midwest to the Appalachians and mid-Atlantic would be in line to see this round of early-March snow later Wednesday through Friday. However, we must caution that computer model forecast guidance has been very uncertain for this possible late-week system in recent days, ranging from just a minor snowmaker to a more impactful round of accumulating snow.
The reason the forecast is uncertain is that the batch of energy in the upper atmosphere that would be responsible for developing this snowmaker is still over the north-central Pacific Ocean. It will finally enter the Northwest on Tuesday and then dive southeastward into the Plains on Wednesday, where it will spawn a surface low pressure system. That low will then track across the South late this week.

Wintry Setup Late Week
Various computer model runs have been handling those features differently over the course of time the last few days, resulting in different forecast outcomes. This is not uncommon several days in advance of a potential weather event.
For now, here's what the latest forecast guidance is depicting. Keep in mind, however, that this forecast may change, so check back for updates.

Late Week Snow Potential Key Points

  • Mainly light snow is expected in the northern Plains and into parts of the mid-Mississippi Valley and Ohio Valley Wednesday night into Thursday.
  • Snow or a rain and snow mix will then push into the central Appalachians and mid-Atlantic Thursday night through Friday.
How Much Snow?
  • At this time, moisture seems to be limited with this system. Therefore snowfall accumulations would be light, if any, in most areas along the path of the low.
  • The majority of the forecast models also take the low out to sea and do not move it northward along the Northeast coast. An out to sea low track would prevent any significant impacts from reaching areas north of the mid-Atlantic, including New York City and New England.
Potential Forecast Changes to Watch:
  • Should the available moisture increase compared to what is currently forecast, then we could see greater snowfall amounts along the path of the low.
  • There is also still a chance the low could pivot north along the East Coast, bringing snow to areas farther north in the Northeast. In addition, that would prolong the snow in some areas leading to heavier totals than currently forecast.
We will continue to monitor this potential late week snow, so stay tuned for daily updates the next several days. Below are our forecast maps for this system Thursday through Friday.

Thursday's Forecast

Thursday Night's Forecast

Friday's Forecast

PHOTOS: Winter Storm Petros

Super Tuesday Threatened By Severe Thunderstorms, Rain in the South (FORECAST)

February 29,2016
On Tuesday, 13 states across the country will hold caucuses and primary elections for the 2016 presidential campaign.
Several of those states in the South are forecast to see rain and thunderstorms, possibly severe, on the warm side of Winter Storm Quo. Depending on the timing of Quo's arrival, snow and ice may cause slippery conditions for voters in Vermont, but right now it appears that the wintry weather will hold off until Tuesday night.
(MORE: Winter Storm Quo | Severe Weather Forecast)
A map showing the 13 states that will hold caucuses and primaries on Tuesday.
Below is a regional breakdown of what to expect this Tuesday.

South: Another Severe Weather Event?

The ingredients may come together for stormy conditions for much of the South, particularly from the Ark-La-Tex region, eastward into the Tennessee Valley. This setup looks nowhere near as volatile as the deadly super Tuesday tornado outbreak of 2008, nor is it expected to be as destructive as last week’s severe outbreak.
(MORE: Super Tuesday Outbreak | Feb. 23-24, 2016 Outbreak)

Tuesday's Forecast in the South
For early voters, showers and thunderstorms are expected to track from eastern Oklahoma and East Texas into Arkansas during the morning. With the storm system quickly moving east, conditions in these states should clear out by midday or early afternoon, with temperatures in the 60s and 70s.
The greatest risk for isolated severe thunderstorms will be near and east of the Mississippi River during the afternoon and evening. This severe weather threat includes eastern Arkansas, Tennessee and Alabama, especially if breaks in cloud-cover allow for more daytime heating to fuel any storms. Damaging winds and heavy rain are the main threats, but a few tornadoes and isolated large hail may also be possible with the strongest storms.
(Cities: Memphis | Huntsville | Tuscaloosa)
Most of central and south Georgia should enjoy mild, but dry conditions through the day and highs mainly in the 70s. Showers may reach northern parts of the state early in the morning and then thunderstorms may arrive late afternoon and into the evening.

East: Snow in the New England States?

Moisture will increase along a frontal boundary draped from the Ohio Valley into the Northeast Tuesday afternoon. Any threat of snow and/or ice in Vermont will depend on the timing of the moisture moving into the cold air over New England. As of Monday night, the latest forecast guidance suggested that any significant snow may hold off until Tuesday night.
(Cities: Brattleboro | Rutland | Montpelier)

Tuesday's Forecast Across the East
The current forecast keeps much of Massachusetts dry through the day, with highs reaching into the 30s and 40s before precipitation reaches the area Tuesday night.
(Cities: Pittsfield | Greenfield | Worcester)
Conditions should remain quiet across much of Virginia, although a few rain showers may reach far western parts of the state late in the day, mainly along and west of the Appalachians. Expect highs to range from the 50s to the 60s across the state.

North-Central States: In The Clear?

As high pressure settles southward behind the departing storm system, fair and dry conditions are expected to prevail across Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota and Minnesota.

Tuesday's Forecast for the Rockies, Northern Plains and Upper Midwest
High temperatures are expected to be cooler than average from eastern North Dakota into Minnesota, where daytime highs should only reach the teens or 20s. Minnesota’s arrowhead may see temperatures stay in the single digits, making for a very chilly day to vote.
(Cities: Fargo | Bemidji)
To the west, milder conditions are likely over Wyoming and Colorado, with highs ranging from the 30s to the 50s. Sunshine dominates the forecast for Colorado, while more in the way of clouds can be expected across Wyoming.
MORE: Super Tuesday Tornado Outbreak of 2008

Winter Storm Quo Will Bring a Snowy Start to March in the Midwest and East

February 29,2016
Winter Storm Quo will deliver a swath of snow and some ice from parts of the Midwest to the Great Lakes and the interior Northeast through Wednesday.
Quo was named Monday morning after winter storm warnings were issued by the National Weather Service for more than 3 million people in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. This exceeds The Weather Channel's population requirement of 2 million people under warnings for a named winter storm. Winter weather advisories are also in effect from eastern South Dakota to northern Illinois, including Chicago and Lower Michigan. A second area of winter weather advisories and winter storm watches extends from northern New York into northern New England.
(MORE: Science Behind Naming Winter Storms | Winter Storm Central)

Winter Weather Alerts
The warm side of Winter Storm Quo will bring a threat of thunderstorms, some of which could be severe, to parts of the South. For more on that story, click here.
Below is a look at the timing for Winter Storm Quo and the snowfall forecast.

Winter Storm Quo Timing

Low pressure at the surface of the earth will organize along an arctic frontal boundary while strengthening, as it sweeps from Missouri Tuesday morning to New York by Wednesday morning. Moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will be pumped in and over the cold air at the surface, wringing out some snow and even, potentially, a little freezing rain or sleet along the path of that low.
Winter Storm Quo does not appear to be a major snowstorm with the potential to dump over a foot of snow over a widespread area. That said, the combination of snow and ice will impact travel in the Great Lakes and interior Northeast the next couple of days.
(MAPS: 10-day Forecast Highs/Lows and Conditions)
Timing: Into Tuesday
  • Accumulating snow will be found in parts of the Midwest and Great Lakes through Tuesday.
  • Both air and road travel will be affected in the region, including in Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Milwaukee Monday into Tuesday.
  • A narrow zone of mixed precipitation, including some ice, may affect parts of eastern Iowa, northern and central Illinois, northern Indiana and northern Ohio, leading to slippery travel conditions.
  • FORECASTS: Chicago | Detroit | Cleveland

Tuesday's Forecast
Timing: Tuesday Night - Wednesday
  • Tuesday Night: Accumulating snow and a wintry mix spreads across portions of Upstate New York and northern New England Tuesday night, including Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Rain may change to snow in the Ohio Valley and the Appalachians. Snow also continues in southern Michigan, northern Ohio and parts of Indiana.
  • Wednesday: Snow and a wintry mix continue in parts of New England and Upstate New York. Snow may continue in the Appalachians.
  • FORECASTS: Burlington | Syracuse | Pittsburgh

Tuesday Night's Forecast

Wednesday's Forecast

Winter Storm Quo Snowfall Forecast

  • Snowfall Forecast: Most locations along the path of Quo will generally see snowfall totals of 6 inches or less, including the Midwest, southern Great Lakes and interior Northeast. Some areas may pick up more than 6 inches, particularly in a narrow corridor near the border between Wisconsin and Illinois to Lower Michigan. Locations near the Canadian border in New York and northern New England could also see more than 6 inches of total snow.
  • Ice Accumulation Forecast: Light ice accumulations are possible from northern Illinois to northern New England. Though the amount of ice accumulation is expected to remain low in most areas, we will still see slippery travel conditions.

Snowfall Forecast

Ice Accumulation Potential

MORE: Winter Storm Petros (PHOTOS)

Snow to slow travel from Chicago to Detroit, Cleveland into Tuesday

By , Senior Meteorologist
February 29,2016; 9:12PM,EST
A storm with rain and snow will disrupt travel and daily routines in the Midwest as March begins.
"Enough rain and snow will fall to cause road conditions to vary from wet to slushy and snow covered with the worst conditions during Tuesday and Tuesday night," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

"Meanwhile, enough snow will fall at the major airports in Chicago and Detroit to lead to airline delays and possible flight cancellations."
The first flakes from the storm, along with a bit of sleet and rain, will develop over parts of the northern and central Plains as colder air arrives into Monday night.
Snow and sleet will tend to be light and spotty from portions of eastern Colorado to Nebraska and South Dakota, Iowa and southern Minnesota.
As the storm moves farther to the east, it will tap moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, causing heavier and steadier snow, rain and a wintry mix.
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Snow to blanket interior northeastern US; Rain to dampen Atlantic Coast

Increasing wind and an injection of colder air will cause some blowing snow. However, the storm will likely fall short of evolving into a blizzard.
A zone of moderate accumulating snow will develop over portions of eastern Iowa, northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin during Monday night and expand eastward during Tuesday.
The exact track of the storm will determine where the heaviest band of snow develops and the dividing line between rain and snow forms.
At this time, the heaviest snow is likely to fall just north of the Interstate 80, I-90 and near I-94 from Illinois to Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.

Several inches of snow and slippery travel are likely in Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit and Cleveland. Heavy snow will also extend into part of southern Ontario, including London, Hamilton and Toronto. Airline passengers should prepare for possible cancellations and delays.
Just a few dozen miles may mark the difference between mainly wet roads and snow-covered conditions.
"It generally has to snow very hard to accumulate on road surfaces during the midday and afternoon hours during March," Sosnowski said. "However, less-intense snowfall can make roads slippery from the evening to the morning rush hour."
The Tuesday morning commute in Chicago, Milwaukee and Kalamazoo, Michigan, could be slow and difficult as a result. In Detroit, the worst conditions on the roads are likely to be during Tuesday evening. The worst road conditions around Cleveland are likely to be Tuesday night.
Bridges and overpasses will become slippery before other road surfaces, as they tend to cool at a faster rate than the surrounding ground.
South of the snow, rain will soak the middle Mississippi and Ohio valleys on Tuesday into Tuesday night.
The danger of a freeze-up, especially on bridges and overpasses, will expand southward toward the Ohio River as colder air plunges later Tuesday night.
Strong to locally severe thunderstorms will affect part of the middle and lower Mississippi Valley during Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday evening.
Colder air will settle over the region during the middle of the week and could pave the way for another storm on Thursday.

Early-week winter storm to deliver snow, ice and rain across northeastern US, mid-Atlantic

By , Senior Meteorologist
February 29,2016; 9:10PM,EST
Shortly after March begins, a storm will spread snow over part of the interior northeastern United States, while mostly rain falls along the Atlantic Coast.
Tuesday will start wintry, wet and stormy in the Midwest, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.
Enough rain and snow will occur to slow travel in parts of the Midwest and the Northeast.
The storm will spread rain over much of the Northeast during Tuesday and Tuesday night. However, as colder air filters in, rain will mix with and change to snow in the lower Great Lakes region and the central Appalachians.

"During the transition from rain to snow, there may be a period of sleet," Pydynowski said.
Several inches of snow may accumulate from northwestern Pennsylvania to western and northern New York state and part of northern New England. Roads will become slippery and snow covered in the swath from Erie, Pennsylvania, to Burlington, Vermont.
This includes portions of Interstate 79, I-80, I-81, I-86 and I-90. In this same area, the snow could weigh down tree limbs and cause sporadic power outages.

Heavy snow will also fall across portions of southern Canada including Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City.
Depending upon the speed of the arrival of colder air farther east, there could be a couple of inches of snow in parts of northern West Virginia, western Maryland, southwestern and northeastern Pennsylvania, central New York state and central New England. Roads could become slippery over the higher elevations and on bridges and overpasses in this zone.
In the area from Roanoke, Virginia, to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, Boston and Portland, Maine, rain could slow the Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning commutes. While much of the rain will be light, there will be localized downpours that could lead to poor visibility and force motorists to slow down.
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A few rumbles of thunder are possible on Wednesday in coastal areas of the mid-Atlantic. A severe weather outbreak is not expected.
Colder air will continue to settle in behind the storm during the balance of the week.
Depending on the track and strength of another storm, there is the chance of a period of accumulating snow or spotty flurries from Virginia and West Virginia to Massachusetts from Thursday night into Friday.
Yet another system could bring a bit of snow or flurries from Saturday night into Sunday.

Severe weather to threaten Louisiana to Kentucky on Tuesday

By Renee Duff, Meteorologist
February 29,2016; 9:06PM,EST
A system set to develop across the central United States will trigger damaging thunderstorms and flooding downpours across the lower Mississippi Valley on the first day of March.
"The same storm that is raising concerns for winter weather across the Great Lakes and interior Northeast will bring a severe weather threat to the Deep South," AccuWeather Meteorologist Evan Duffey said.
Thunderstorms are expected to initiate over the southern Plains, centered on Oklahoma during Monday night before developing into a squall line on Tuesday.

A squall line is a continuous band of thunderstorms that can produce damaging wind gusts, flooding downpours and hail. Brief tornadoes are also possible along the leading edge of this line.
"As is typical with many of these winter storms, the push of cold air clashing with the warm air in place will lead to a line of thunderstorms along the system's cold front," Duffey explained.
SCARY: Funnel cloud forms directly above driver
Strong winds aloft can give the storms extra strength.
He added that localized damaging winds and brief flooding downpours would be the primary threats from these storms.
Cities that will likely be impacted by the squall line on Tuesday include Little Rock, Arkansas; Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee; and Shreveport, Louisiana. By Tuesday night, the line will shift into New Orleans, Knoxville, Tennessee, and Birmingham, Alabama.

While these storms will move through areas that were devastated by severe thunderstorms last week, it is highly unlikely that they will match the same intensity and magnitude. However, it only takes one tornado or damaging burst of wind to devastate a family and/or community.
Motorists should be aware of rapidly changing weather conditions should they encounter the squall line. Torrential downpours will lead to reduced visibility and excess water on roadways, which could disrupt the Tuesday evening commute.
Snow to slow travel from Chicago to Detroit, Cleveland by Tuesday
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Whether you are heading to the polls on Super Tuesday, walking between classes on campus or commuting to and from work, know exactly when severe thunderstorms will strike your location with AccuWeather MinuteCast®.
It is possible that a few locally heavy, gusty thunderstorms will reach as far to the northeast as parts of Kentucky, West Virginia and southern Ohio during early Tuesday night
As Tuesday night progresses, the storms will likely lose some of their punch once they reach Atlanta and the Appalachian Mountains.
Regardless, flash flooding and gusty winds will remain a concern until the storms exit the Southeast coast on Wednesday morning.
Behind this front, a brief spell of quieter and cooler weather is expected across the region before another round of rain and thunderstorms at late week.

Long Island family aims to keep massive snowman standing past mid-April

By Katy Galimberti, Staff Writer
February 29,2016; 9:04PM,EST
It started as an innocent sculpture crafted out of boredom and a blizzard.
More than a year later, a Massapequa Park, New York, family had a 14-foot snowman hanging out on the front lawn.
Mike Fregoe has made a snowman every year, dressing him up to get a chuckle out of his neighbors. However, just before the Blizzard of 2015, he was laying in bed when an idea popped into his head. It involved a Facebook page, helping hands and a lot of snow.
The colossal snowman sits on Mike Fregoe's front yard in Massapequa Park, N.Y. (Photo/Mike Fregoe)
When the blizzard dropped more than a foot of snow on their lawn, Fregoe started building a snowman as big as he possibly could. The goal was to keep him alive as long as possible.
"It kind of took off," he said. The Save the Snowman Facebook page is creeping towards 4,000 likes as of Feb. 29.
The original snowman lasted until mid-April of 2015. But instead of letting their efforts end there, the family stored a snowball in their freezer to reincarnate the snowman in 2016.
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Fregoe is married with two children, both girls, aged 11 and 16. They help out, he said, but his youngest is more involved. Ultimately, it's Fregoe's responsibility.
He takes care of the snowman, sheltering him as best he can when temperatures rise or rain is expected. Using large tarps, he wraps the pile of snow up. As spring progresses, he gets an umbrella for shade.
"My wife still thinks I'm crazy," he said, laughing.
Using big plastic tarps, Fregoe keeps the snowman wrapped up on warm days. (Photo/Mike Fregoe)
Keeping him in standing order can take hours at a time, especially when the weather isn't cooperating. As a home-based contractor, he's able to take the time, sometimes spending up to five hours a day to keep the guy in shape.
When not enough snow accumulates in his yard, he collects fresh building materials from a nearby lot where crews dump the snow after removal efforts.
Fregoe also solicits "snownations," a donation of fresh snow from fans of the project to keep the snowman at his preferred weight. Visitors will arrive at the house with coolers full of snow from their own lawns to contribute to the snowman.
Like any big undertaking, sometimes the snowman seems like a chore. But then, a visitor will stop by and take a picture or bring a snownation. That's what makes the labor worth it, Fregoe said.
The Fregoe family dresses the snowman up for every holiday. (Photo/Mike Fregoe)
"It's all about how happy the snowman makes people," he said.
Fregoe said the snowman has had visitors from as far away as Pennsylvania and Vermont, but his lawn has become a well-established Long Island hot-spot. He'll often receive letters from families who have visited, expressing their gratitude for Fregoe's efforts in lifting their spirits.
The goal is to make this year's snowman last longer than mid-April, maybe even making it to the first of May. Now that the snowman is so popular, Fregoe expects to continue the project next year, keeping the new family tradition alive.

New app enables smartphones to detect earthquakes

By Heather Janssen, Staff Writer
February 29,2016; 9:02PM,EST
Scientists have developed a new app that can detect earthquakes through the use of a smartphone.
The free application, named MyShake, uses sensors in smartphones to detect movements caused by an earthquake.
"MyShake will run in the background of a personal phone and constantly monitor the acceleration of the phone," Qingkai Kong, a doctoral candidate from the University of California, Berkeley, said.
"If [the app] thinks some movement is due to earthquake, it will send a message to a server with the location/time of this trigger," he said.
(Flickr Photo/Maurizio Pesce)
A detection algorithm that runs on the server searches for clusters of triggers from multiple phones at both the same time and location.
If an earthquake is detected, the app will estimate the location, origin time and magnitude.
The current app stores information from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) about recent earthquakes with a magnitude of 2.5 and above, as well as significant earthquakes in the past, Kong said.
To determine whether the application would work as expected on the smartphone, the scientists used shake table tests.
"We did shake table tests, which uses a table to simulate earthquakes with the phones on top of it. Also, I converted the past earthquakes recorded from traditional seismic stations to phone quality-like data and tested the algorithm," Kong said.
The tests revealed that the average smartphone can detect earthquakes above magnitude-5.0 within 10 km.
"Some of the more recent phones start to see earthquake above magnitude-4.0 within 10 km," Kong said.
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The idea to create the app came from previous works including the iShake project, a Berkeley project that used iPhones to detect earthquakes, the Quake Catcher Network, a Stanford project that used low-cost USB sensors to detect earthquakes and a Caltech project called the Community Seismic Network.
"We extended these previous projects to smartphones and designed tests to show that the sensors in the phone could record large earthquakes..." Kong said.
Currently, the scientists are focusing on collecting data to make improvements to the detection algorithm and improve the stability of the system.
In the future, the scientists hope to be able to provide earthquake early warnings to its users, Kong said.

South America autumn forecast: Brazil drought to ease; Early rains to soak Colombia to Chile

By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
February 29,2016; 9:00PM,EST
Wet weather will frequent large portions of South America throughout autumn; however, dry spells will dominate the weather pattern in southern and northern parts of the continent.
The long-term drought that has plagued Brazil will begin to ease this autumn, though the heaviest and most beneficial rain will be mainly confined to southern portions of the country.

The season will get off to a wet start from Colombia through Chile before being replaced by drier conditions for the second half of the season.
JUMP TO: Flooding rain, severe weather to target Bolivia, Paraguay, southern Brazil| Early rains to frequent Colombia to Chile | Drought to ease across much of Brazil ahead of Rio Olympics
Flooding rain, severe weather to target Bolivia, Paraguay, southern Brazil
Some of the most active weather across South America this season will stretch from eastern Bolivia to southern Brazil.
Excessive rain may lead to flooding issues that could affect the crops in the area, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Rob Miller.
Depending on when the rain falls, it could interfere with the process of harvesting across the region.
"It's not even out of the question that there could be some severe weather in Paraguay and into southern Brazil," Miller said.
This could include thunderstorms strong enough to produce damaging winds, large hail and flash flooding.
Some cities that may experience severe storms of this nature include Santa Cruz, Bolivia; Asuncion, Paraguay; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
A couple drives a makeshift raft on a flooded street of the Banado Norte neighborhood in Asuncion, Paraguay, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)
Early rains to frequent Colombia to Chile
Bouts of rain are expected to frequent swaths of South America stretching from Colombia to Chile and Argentina, but the rain will not be evenly distributed throughout the whole season for some of these areas.
El Niño will continue to influence the weather pattern across Chile into autumn, allowing for opportunities for rain in March and April. However, as El Niño weakens and the calendar turns to May and June, Chile will begin to experience drier-than-normal conditions.
The drier weather during the second half of the ski season may end up hurting resorts in central Chile that depend on mountain snow late in the season.
The exception to this will be in southern Chile where the autumn months favor a drier-than-normal weather pattern through most of the season.
Last year from March through June, Santiago, Chile, received only 6 mm (0.24 of an inch) or rain. While the city may receive more than this during March through June of this year, Santiago will likely finish the season below the normal rainfall amount of 165 mm (6.5 inches).
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Much of Argentina will experience conditions typical for autumn this season with rainfall and temperatures right around normal.
According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls, people across Argentina can expect some rain throughout the season, but it will not be excessive like it will be around Paraguay.
Normal rainfall from March through June in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is 325 mm (12.77 inches), while normal rainfall in Cordoba, Argentina, is 181 mm (7.12 inches).
Drought to ease across much of Brazil ahead of Rio Olympics
One of the worst droughts in Brazil's history will begin to get some relief heading into autumn as rain returns to the country.
The new season will bring an increase in rainfall across much of Brazil with the heaviest and most beneficial rain falling across the southeastern part of the county. This includes the cities of Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba and Porto Alegre.
The rain will help to fill water reservoirs that have undergone a dramatic decrease in water levels since 2013. However, it will take more than one wet season to put an end to the historic drought.
"The rain around Rio will not be enough to overcome the drought," Nicholls said.
For areas across the northern part of Brazil, as well as in the French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana, drought conditions will worsen heading into the season as the much-needed rain stays to the south.
In this Oct. 30, 2014, photo, the earth lays cracked in the nearly empty Itaim dam, responsible for providing water to the Sao Paulo metropolitan area, in Itu, Brazil. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
The renewed opportunities for rain in much of Brazil will help with the water shortage that has developed across the region.
The increase in water availability couldn't come at a better time as people from all around the world prepare to flock to Rio de Janeiro for the upcoming Olympic Games.
Despite the wet forecast for autumn around Rio de Janeiro, drier weather should return by August when the games are set to begin.
"Rio typically doesn't get a lot of rain in August, so weather shouldn't play too much of a factor [in the Olympics]," Miller said.

Europe spring forecast: Frequent storms to eye London, Paris and Berlin; Warmth to build from Italy to Ukraine

By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
February 29,2016; 8:56PM,EST
As winter transitions into spring, changing weather patterns will bring a variety of weather to Europe, ranging from strong wind and rainstorms to dramatic temperature swings and prolonged periods of warmth.
Severe weather events ranging from frequent flooding to damaging thunderstorms are expected while a damaging drought is also likely during the spring months of March, April and May.

JUMP TO: Wet spring forecast with storms set to lash northern Spain and France to Germany and Alps| Drought to worsen for southern Portugal and Spain | Warmth to dominate Italy, Balkans and Ukraine | Stormy weather, flood threat to shift southward in UK | Poland, Belarus and Baltic States to endure temperature swings
Wet spring forecast with storms set to lash northern Spain and France to Germany and Alps
A stormy spring is expected for a large portion of western Europe with impacts for France, Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
The active weather pattern that persisted for much of the winter will continue into the spring as rounds of storms from the Atlantic will bring frequent episodes of rain and strong winds.
This barrage of storms will enhance the threat for flooding in France, but also bring locally damaging winds throughout the season. While coastal areas will likely experience the strongest winds, multiple storms may bring wind gusts in excess of 85 km/h (50 mph) to central and northern France, including Paris.
On the southern side of these storms, warm air and moisture from the Mediterranean Sea will fuel occasional strong-to-severe thunderstorms. Areas from Toulouse eastward to Marseille and Nice will be at the highest risk for these damaging thunderstorms.
A higher-than-average number of storms will also result in above-normal rainfall in Belgium and Netherlands. Damaging winds events are expected to be infrequent; however, one or two powerful storms could result in coastal flooding and widespread power cuts.
The Atlantic storms will track inland bringing rounds of rain to Germany, though the threat for damaging winds will be lower than areas from France to Netherlands.
While widespread damaging winds are not expected in Germany, the repeated rounds of rain will elevate the threat for flooding, especially in southern and western parts of the country. Farther north and east, rainfall will be largely beneficial following a drier-than-normal winter from Dresden to Berlin and Hamburg.
"The frequent storms will also bring snow to the Alps extending the ski season across the region through at least Easter," according to Accuweather Meteorologist Tyler Roys. While the ski season will be longer, there will be an elevated threat for avalanches as mild air from the Mediterranean Sea is pulled northward ahead of the storms.
SCARY! Avalanche roars over skiers in the French Alps
Drought to worsen for southern Portugal and Spain
While storms are expected to bring near- to above-normal rainfall to northern Portugal and far-northern Spain, central and southern parts of both countries will endure another season of below-normal rainfall.
"Parts of southern Spain only received 20-30 percent of normal precipitation during the winter season and this pattern will continue into spring," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert said.
The drought that has worsened over the past several years will have no relief this spring with the most abnormally low rainfall expected in the hardest-hit regions from Andalusia to Valencia.
"The olive crop will once again be negatively impacted by drought having a major impact on olive oil prices around the world," Reppert added.
Warmth to dominate Italy, Balkans and Ukraine
A woman sunbathes at the beach of Ostia, Rome's coastal neighbourhood, Sunday, 12 July 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Spring will be in full force from Italy through the Balkan Peninsula and into Ukraine where unseasonable warmth is expected for long stretches from March through May.
A lack of cold air across eastern Russia will prevent any Arctic intrusions into southern Europe throughout the spring.
As a result, long periods of above-normal warmth combined with drier-than-normal weather will dominate the spring.
From late April into May, temperatures will occasionally soar to levels more common during the first half of summer, with the most intense warmth expected from southern Italy into the southern Balkans.
Air masses from the Mediterranean Sea, however, will set the stage for occasional severe thunderstorms from southern France through northern Italy into the northern Balkan Peninsula as storm systems passing to the north interact with the unseasonable warmth and rich Mediterranean moisture.
Locations such as Milan, Venice, Zagreb, Ljubljana and Budapest are at risk for thunderstorms capable of producing damaging winds, hail and flash flooding.
Stormy weather, flood threat to shift southward in UK
The winter months unleashed numerous storms on the British Isles as strong winds disrupted travel and brought power cuts.
A woman braves the elements as she walks along the sea front at Portrush, Northern Ireland, Friday, 29 January 2016. Thousands of homes were left without electricity after a storm swept across Northern Ireland bringing gale-force winds and rain. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
The high frequency of storms also caused flooding over South West England, Wales and North West England.
The spring will feature beneficial changes for some areas while others continue to endure repeated rounds of stormy weather.
A southerly storm track will continue through much of the spring causing above-normal rainfall and occasional strong winds through Ireland, Wales and southern England.
Above-normal rainfall in areas that already endured a harsh winter will result in continued episodes of flooding.
Greater London, South East England and East Anglia will have an increase in rainfall during the spring. Following a drier-than-normal winter, however, no widespread flooding problems are expected.
Farther north, this southward shift in storminess will bring a reprieve to areas from Northern England into Scotland, with the weather improving throughout the spring months in Northern England. Generally near- to below-normal rainfall is expected in these areas while temperatures will be near to above normal.
While Northern Ireland and Scotland will not be free of storms during the spring, there will be longer stretches of tranquil weather following a very stormy winter.
Europe Weather Center
United Kingdom spring forecast
Germany spring forecast

Poland, Belarus and Baltic States to endure temperature swings
The battleground between lingering winter chill and the return of spring warmth will be found from Poland into Belarus and the Baltic States during March and April.
Cold air will remain entrenched over Scandinavia making occasional intrusions southward into the Baltic States, with a brief chill being felt into Belarus and Poland.
"These cold intrusions will continue the threat for snow through Easter from northern Poland into the Baltic States," Roys said.
Storms tracking westward across Europe will help to pull warmer air from the Balkan Peninsula northward, bringing occasional bursts of warmth which will be erased by cooler air that follows each storm.
During the late spring, warmer air from the Balkan Peninsula is expected to surge northward bringing warmer periods to Poland and Belarus, an end to any long-lasting cold, and providing a good start to the growing season for farmers across the region.

Asia spring forecast: Flooding to threaten southeast China to Japan; Drought to persist in Southeast Asia

By , Senior Meteorologist
February 29,2016; 8:54PM,EST
While much of Asia can expect dry and mild conditions, there will be areas of ongoing drought as well as the risk of flooding during the spring of 2016.
"The main players in Asia this spring will be the typical ones, including the monsoon and fluctuations in Indian Ocean water temperatures," according to AccuWeather Chief International Meteorologist Jason Nicholls.
In addition, El Niño may still have enough influence to factor into the western Pacific Typhoon season during the approach of summer.
El Niño is defined by above-average sea surface temperatures in eastern and central equatorial Pacific Ocean. These sea surface temperatures cycle from warm to cool, relative to average, over a several-year period.

Much of Asia can expect near- to above-average temperatures this spring.
An exception, although not highly unusual, will be from northeastern China, eastern Mongolia and Russia's far east to northern Japan. Cold and snowy conditions may hang on during March and perhaps into early April in this area.
During much of this past winter, waters in the Indian Ocean have been warmer than average. This abnormal warmth is likely to continue well into the spring.
The warm water may help to spur tropical downpours earlier than usual in the western parts of Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as the southern parts of Myanmar and Thailand.
China weather forecast center
Check AccuWeather's Minute by Minute™ Weather Forecast for Tokyo
South Korea weather satellite

"Enough rain may fall to ease the abnormally dry to significant drought conditions in the region," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Adam Douty.
Drought is likely to continue in New Guinea, eastern Malaysia, eastern Indonesia, eastern Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, southern and central Vietnam and southern Laos.
"It is possible we get a couple of tropical depressions or full-blown cyclones in the Indian Ocean, which could impact southern India this spring, especially toward May," Nicholls said. "While there is a threat of tropical activity over the Arabian Sea, there will not be a repeat of the double strike of Chapala and Megh in Yemen like that of last November."
Tropical Cyclone Chapala batters Mukalla, Yemen, on Monday, Nov. 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Mohammed Bazahier)
Nicholls doubts that any system that forms in the Arabian sea will become very strong or impact land through May.
Areas that turn wet and could be locally very wet will extend from Nepal, Bhutan and northeastern India to southern China, Taiwan, northern Myanmar, northern Laos, northern Vietnam and southern Japan.
"Storms from the Himalayas to land areas bordering the East China Sea could be frequent and intense enough to raise the risk of flooding," Nicholls said. "In part of this area, an ongoing storm track will be joined by the northward progression of the monsoon later on."
Areas from east-central China to South Korea will turn wet during the second half of the spring.
"While we expect El Niño to weaken, enough lingering effects would suggest that the early part of the western Pacific typhoon season, including May, might be more active than average," according to AccuWeather Tropical Cyclone Expert Dan Kottlowski.
It is possible for a system that develops over the western part of the basin to be carried westward toward land areas of eastern Asia later during the spring and in the early summer.
AccuWeather is forecasting lower numbers of typhoons for 2016, when compared to 2015, due to a weakening El Niño.
Another area that may receive frequent storms with impacts ranging from snow and a wintry mix early on followed by rain later in the spring will extend from Kazakhstan to west-central Siberia.
Countries that may turn drier than average include Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Jordan and the northern parts of Iraq and Iran.
The lack of large storm systems in the region might translate to a lower number of incidents of blowing dust or perhaps more isolated events than what typically occurs in the spring.
The balance of Asia, including areas from Saudi Arabia to much of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and northern Myanmar can expect typical dry conditions for the spring season.

Midweek showers to fall across Germany as chill eases

By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
February 29,2016; 8:52PM,EST
A weak storm will bring more unsettled weather to Germany during the middle of the week following the snow that fell in southern and eastern Germany into Tuesday.
Milder air arriving ahead of this storm will prevent any accumulating snowfall this time; however, some of the highest terrain of western and southern Germany could see snow showers.

Areas from Hamburg to Dusseldorf and Frankfurt can expect numerous showers from Wednesday into Thursday. Accompanying the showers will be gusty winds both days.
High temperatures will range from 5-7 C (41-45 F), which is close to normal for early March.
Farther south, areas from Stuttgart to Munich will see a couple of showers both Wednesday and Thursday with some wet snowflakes mixing in at night.
High temperatures will also range from 5-7 C (41-45 F), however, low temperatures will fall to near 0 C (32 F) at night.
Germany Weather Center
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Interactive Germany weather radar

Following snow early in the week, Leipzig and Dresden will turn milder during the middle of the week. Showers will be widespread on Wednesday, but become isolated on Thursday with some parts of Saxony remaining dry.
Similar weather is expected farther north in Berlin where high temperatures will reach 7-8 C (45-46 F).
Another storm will arrive on Friday continuing the threat for rainfall across Germany into the weekend.

National Temperature and Rainfall Extremes for February 29,2016 from

As of 11PM,EST/8PM,PST

Daily U.S. Extremes

past 24 hours

  Extreme Location
High 91° Death Valley, CA
Low -11° Flag Island, MN
Precip 0.45" Fort Drum, NY

World Weather Hot Spot for February 29-March 1,2016 from

Delyankir,Russia: Extreme cold; temperature plunged to -58 degrees (negative 58 degrees; 58 degrees below zero),on Monday (February 29,2016)

WeatherWhys for February 29,2016 from

Meteorological winter, which is typically the coldest quarter of the year, officially comes to an end on March 1. Meteorological spring includes the full months of March, April and May.

Weather Underground National Forecast for Monday,February 29,2016

By: nationalsummary , 11:00PM,GMT on February 28,2016

Weather Underground Forecast for Monday,February 29,2016

A low pressure system will shift across the Northeast on Monday, while a separate system develops over the Intermountain West.

An area of low pressure will lift northeastward across the upper Great Lakes and the Northeast. This system will usher gusty winds and a mixture of rain and snow across the northern Mid-Atlantic and New England. A cold frontal boundary associated with this system will stretch southwestward from Upstate New York to the southern Plains. As this frontal boundary transitions east northeastward, it will generate showers and thunderstorms across the southern and central Plains, as well as the lower and middle Mississippi Valley. High pressure will influence dry weather across most of the Southeast.

Meanwhile, a wave of low pressure will transition eastward from the upper Mississippi Valley to the Northeast. This system will produce a swath of light to moderate snow across the Great Lakes region. A frigid air mass will trail this system, bringing a blast of cold air to the northern tier of the country.

A separate system will move across the Intermountain West. High elevation mountain snow and valley rain will develop over the Pacific Northwest and the upper Intermountain West. By the afternoon and evening, this system will collide with cold air over the central and northern Plains. A mixture of rain and snow will result from the northern high Plains to the western edge of the Midwest.

Additionally, a Pacific cold front will generate late evening rain and high elevation snow over western Washington, western Oregon and northwest California. Dry weather will continue across the Southwest on Monday.

This Date in Weather History for February 29,2016 from

Weather History
For Monday,February 29,2016
1748 - The heaviest snow of the "Winter of the Deep Snow" in New England came to an end. Coastal Salem was left with more than thirty inches of snow on the ground. (David Ludlum)
1964 - Thompson Pass, AK, finished the month with 346.1 inches of snow, a record monthly total for the state of Alaska. (The Weather Channel)
1988 - "Leap Day" proved to be a wet one for southern California, with 4.76 inches of rain reported at Tommys Creek in Ventura County. February went out like a lamb across much of the rest of the nation. Sixteen cities in the central and western U.S. reported record high temperatures for the date. (The National Weather Summary) (Storm Data)
2008 - The world's tallest snowwoman is unveiled in the western Maine town of Bethel, ME. "Olympia," named for Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, is about 122 feet tall, 10 feet taller than "Angus, King of the Mountain," which has held the tallest snowman record since 1999. He was named for Angus King, Maine's governor at the time. The Weather Doctor

Sunday, February 28, 2016

National Temperature and Rainfall Extremes for February 28,2016 from

As of 11:30PM,EST/8:30PM,PST

Daily U.S. Extremes

past 24 hours

  Extreme Location
High 90° Palm Springs, CA
Low Gunnison, CO
Precip 0.62" Quillayute, WA

New York City metro-area forecast for February 28-March 13,2016 from

Here's the 15-day weather forecast for the New York City metro-area for the period of the last 2 days of February and the first 13 of March (February 28-March 13),2016 from The Weather Channel's web-site;

Tonight,February 28-29: Becoming clear and not as cold as recent nights with a low temperature dropping to 40-45 degrees,overnight.As of 10:30PM,EST,it's 48 degrees and cloudy,with 57% humidity,in White Plains,NY,and it's 52 degrees and clear,with 42% humidity,in New York City.

Tomorrow,February 29: Leap Day 2016,the last day of February 2016,will be turning cloudy and rainy in the morning,followed by partial afternoon clearing and a high temperature of around 60 degrees.

Tomorrow night,February 29-March 1: Becoming mainly clear in the evening followed by increasing cloudiness and turning colder than recent nights with a low temperature dropping to the middle 30's,overnight.

Tuesday,March 1: March of 2016 comes in like a lamb as it turns mostly sunny and colder than recent days with a high temperature of 45-50 degrees.Becoming cloudy with a chance for an evening rain shower followed by a steadier,heavier rain late and a low temperature dropping to 35-40 degrees, overnight.

Wednesday,March 2: Not as chilly,but remaining cloudy and rainy with a steady morning rain followed by some afternoon rain showers and a high temperature of 50-55 degrees.Turning much colder than recent nights,as it turns very cold for the beginning of March and the end of winter,with some evening cloudiness followed by some late-night clearing and a low temperature dropping to 25-30 degrees,overnight.

Thursday,March 3: Turning mainly sunny and much colder than recent days with a high temperature only in the upper 30's to lower 40's.Becoming partly cloudy and quite cold for the beginning of March and the end of winter,with a low temperature dropping to 20-25 degrees,overnight.

Friday,March 4: Remaining unseasonably cold with a mix of clouds and sunshine and a high temperature of just 35-40 degrees.Remaining partly cloudy and very cold with a low temperature dropping to the lower and middle 20's,overnight.

Saturday,March 5: Not as cold with a few clouds from time-to-time and a high temperature of 40-45 degrees.Not as cold as recent nights with mainly clear skies and a low temperature dropping to around 30 degrees,overnight.

Sunday,March 6: Turning milder than recent days with morning cloudiness followed by partial afternoon clearing and a high temperature in the middle and upper 40's.Remaining partly cloudy and seasonably cold for early March with partly cloudy skies in the evening followed by increasing cloudiness and a low temperature dropping to the lower and middle 30's,overnight.

Monday,March 7: Remaining partly cloudy,but turning rather mild for early March and the end of winter with increasing cloudiness and a chance for some afternoon rain possible and a high temperature of around 50 degrees.Remaining cloudy and rainy through the evening followed by clearing and a low temperature dropping to the lower and middle 30's,once again,overnight.

Tuesday,March 8: Becoming mostly sunny and even warmer with a high temperature of 50-55 degrees.Remaining seasonably cold for early March and the end of winter,with a low temperature dropping to the middle and upper 30's,overnight.

Wednesday,March 9: Turning unseasonably mild to warm for early March and the end of winter,with a mix of sunshine and some clouds and a high temperature of 55-60 degrees.Remaining partly cloudy and mild with a low temperature dropping to the upper 30's to lower 40's,overnight.

Thursday,March 10: Turning cloudy and rainy,but remaining unseasonably warm for early March and the end of winter with morning cloudiness followed by some afternoon rain showers and a high temperature of around 60 degrees.Remaining cloudy and rainy and unseasonably mild with considerable cloudiness and a chance for occasional rain showers and a low temperature dropping to 45-50 degrees,overnight.

Friday,March 11: Remaining cloudy,rainy,and unseasonably mild to warm for early March and the end of winter with occasional rain showers and a high temperature in the upper 50's to lower 60's.Remaining cloudy,rainy,and mild with occasional rain showers and a low temperature dropping to 45-50 degrees,once again,overnight.

Saturday,March 12: Remaining cloudy,rainy,and mild with occasional rain showers continuing and a high temperature of 55-60 degrees.Remaining cloudy,rainy,and mild with more rain showers still possible and a low temperature dropping to 40-45 degrees,overnight.

Sunday,March 13: Remaining cloudy,rainy,and mild,but not as mild or warm as recent days with more rain showers possible and a high temperature in the middle 50's.Remaining cloudy,rainy,and mild with evening showers followed by a steadier,heavier rain leading to flooding,late and a low temperature dropping to the upper 30's to lower 40's,overnight.

Snowy Start to March in the Midwest and East?

Linda Lam
Published: February 28,2016

March may come in like a lion for portions of the Midwest and Northeast with the possibility of wintry weather in the first several days of the month.
The first round of snow and some ice will target parts of the Midwest, Great Lakes, and New England early this week. Then, late in the week, we are watching portions of the Midwest and East for another potential snowmaker. However, forecast guidance at this time is very uncertain for this possible late week system with a wide range of scenarios from just a minor snowmaker to a more impactful round of accumulating snow.
Let's start with the details of the early week snow first and then given an overview of why we are also watching late this week.

Early Week Snow For Midwest, Great Lakes, New England

This early week system does not appear to be a major snowstorm with the potential to dump over a foot of snow over a widespread area.
This is mainly because the jet stream is in what is called a progressive pattern, meaning disturbances propagate through the jet stream rather quickly from west to east, rather than being blocked and persisting over any given area.
The next disturbance has arrived in the Pacific Northwest and will push eastward into the Rockies and then into the Plains Monday and Midwest by Tuesday.
Low pressure at the surface will organize along the arctic frontal boundary and gain some strength as it sweeps through the eastern two-thirds of the country.
Moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will be pumped in and over the cold air at the surface, wringing out some snow, and even, potentially, a little freezing rain or sleet. Here is the forecast timing and snowfall forecast for this early week system.
(MAPS: 10-day Forecast Highs/Lows and Conditions)
Timing: Monday Night - Tuesday
  • Accumulating snow arrives in parts of the Midwest and southern Great Lakes Monday night and continues Tuesday while spreading into western New York.
  • Both air and road travel could be affected in the region, including in Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland.
  • A narrow zone of mixed precipitation, including some ice, may affect parts of central and southern Iowa, northern Illinois, northern Indiana, southern Michigan and northern Ohio, leading to slippery travel conditions.
  • FORECASTS: Chicago | Detroit | Cleveland

Tuesday's Forecast
Timing: Tuesday Night - Wednesday
  • Accumulating snow spreads across much of northern New England Tuesday night, including Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
  • Snow or a wintry mix also continues as far west as northern Indiana, Ohio, western Pennsylvania and Upstate New York.
  • On Wednesday, snow and a wintry mix continue in New England and Upstate New York. Rain may change to snow in parts of southern New England and the central Appalachians.
  • FORECASTS: Burlington | Syracuse | Pittsburgh

Tuesday Night's Forecast
Snowfall Forecast Early Week
  • Generally less than 6 inches of snow is expected in the southern Great Lakes, including Chicago and Detroit. A few locations, however, could locally pick up more than 6 inches of snow in the southern Great Lakes region.
  • Total snowfall of 6 inches or more is possible from western and northern New York to northern New England. 

Snowfall Forecast

Late Week Snowmaker to Watch?

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the potential for snow from another storm system late this week in the Midwest and East is far from certain.
Some computer model forecast guidance such as the European ECMWF model has suggested in recent days that we could see a swath of accumulating snow from the Ohio Valley to the central Appalachians, mid-Atlantic and possibly the coastal Northeast in the Thursday through early Saturday timeframe. Other forecast guidance like the American GFS model has depicted that high pressure will dominate those regions in the same exact period of time with little or no snow at all.
This, of course, is a huge forecast difference for millions of residents that live in those respective regions. So, why is the uncertainty so high you might ask?
The batch of energy in the upper atmosphere that would be responsible for developing this snowmaker is still over the north-central Pacific Ocean. That is a long way from North America and the models must make a forecast for that energy and other features in the lower and upper atmosphere over the course of several days into the future. This can, and often does, result in different outcomes for various computer model runs several days in advance of a particular weather event since the models may handle those features differently over the course of time.
We will continue to monitor this potential late week snow, so stay tuned for daily updates the next several days.

MORE: Winter Storm Petros (PHOTOS)

March May Start With Severe Storms in the South

Linda Lam
Published: February 28,2016

A new storm system will develop to start this week which could bring a return of severe thunderstorms to parts of the South. Meanwhile, the northern side of this weather system will lay down a swath of snow and ice in portions of the Midwest, Great Lakes, and interior Northeast.
Just last week, on the warm side of Winter Storm Petros, at least 60 tornadoes were confirmed from east Texas to Pennsylvania. Strong wind gusts in thunderstorms also caused damage from New England to the Southeast.
(MORE: Late February Tornado Outbreak | 5 Strange Things We Saw)
Early this week a disturbance in the jet stream over the Rockies will intensify as it swings into the nation's Midwest and East.

Stormy Setup Next Week
An area of low pressure is then expected to develop in the Plains on Monday and sweep with its attendant strong cold front through the east Tuesday and Wednesday.
Ahead of this cold front, moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will return across the southern Plains and Southeast.
(MAPS: 10-day Forecast Highs/Lows and Conditions)
At this time, we are not anticipating an outbreak of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes like we saw last week. However, portions of the South should still be alert for severe storms that could produce damaging wind gusts, hail, and perhaps a few tornadoes.
One primary uncertainty in this setup is how far north deep, Gulf moisture is able to surge ahead of the cold front. That, in addition to how much low-level wind shear, or the change in wind speed and direction with height in the lowest levels of the atmosphere, would affect the magnitude of the tornado threat.

Severe Thunderstorms Possible

A few severe thunderstorms may develop as soon as overnight Monday night from Oklahoma and southern Kansas into the Ozarks, with the main threat being large hail.
Tuesday, the chance of severe thunderstorms should be more widespread from east Texas and Louisiana to the lower-Mississippi Valley and Tennessee Valley. Damaging thunderstorm winds are the primary threat from any severe storms that develop, though a few tornadoes are possible.
(FORECASTS: Houston | Memphis | Nashville

Tuesday's Severe Threat
The severe threat will spread eastward Tuesday night across southern Louisiana and Mississippi into Alabama, west Georgia, and the Florida Panhandle, again, with damaging straight-line winds the primary concern.
(FORECASTS: New Orleans | Mobile | Atlanta

Tuesday Night's Severe Threat
Wednesday, the cold front should rapidly race toward the East Coast with scattered thunderstorms from the coastal Carolinas into the Florida peninsula. It appears any chance for severe weather on Wednesday will be limited, but we can't rule out a few damaging wind gusts.
If the front takes longer to push offshore, a few stronger wind gusts, either with thunderstorms, or simply with bands of rain ahead of the cold front, could reach into the coastal mid-Atlantic region and New England.
(FORECASTS: Washington D.C. | Raleigh | Jacksonville)

Wednesday's Severe Threat

Average March Tornado Threat

The risk of severe thunderstorms generally begins to ramp up in March.
As the month progresses, the necessary ingredients for severe thunderstorms begin to come together with a greater frequency. Warm and humid air tend to become more prevalent and flow farther north, taking up more real estate through the South and into portions of the Midwest. This is due to a reduction of strong arctic cold fronts bringing frigid temperatures and more stable conditions across the East.
In addition, stronger jet stream disturbances begin to punch into the central U.S. The result is an increased risk of severe thunderstorms, including tornadoes.
In March, the tornado threat is higher from portions of northern and eastern Texas and Oklahoma into the Lower and Mid-Mississippi Valley stretching as far north as central Illinois and central Indiana and as far east as Georgia.
According to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center, the average number of tornadoes in March from 1989-2013 was led by Texas with 11. Florida placed second with 6 tornadoes and tied for third place, with 5 tornadoes, are Kansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.
The past three years, tornado activity has been well-below average. In March 2015, the first three weeks did not even see a single tornado or severe thunderstorm watch.
(MORE: Changing Tornado Seasons?)
But past overall quiet seasons have no bearing on what will happen ahead, and there's been a noticeable uptick in activity in February.
It takes only one dangerous storm on any given day to threaten life and property.
Therefore, it is important to be prepared for severe weather any time of year, including having a plan on where to go during severe weather and a way to get severe warnings.
PHOTOS: Gulf Coast Severe Weather Feb. 23-34, 2016