It's Friday and for some a long President's Day weekend.
A short-lived Arctic Blast is gripping the Eastern half of the country but it will move out as quickly as it moved in. By Tuesday it will be completely out of the country! This Valentine's Day weekend is the coldest in 6 years for the U.S. overall and 2nd coldest in 25+ years for the Northeast, ironically last year was a tad more frigid in the Northeast but not by much. In the heart of the cold air in New England it's the coldest Valentine's Day weekend in many decades with temps as cold as -20F to -25F with wind chills as cold as -50F. It will only get this cold for locations that are not down wind of the Great Lakes as they remain almost ice free. The Great Lakes overall only have 12.2% ice on them which is a huge change from last year when 63.4% were covered in ice and 87.1% back in 2014 when we approached record levels. The open waters of the Lakes will allow the lake effect snow machine to crank downwind of Lake Erie and Ontario this weekend.
But amazingly a strong storm system is going to track up the spine of the Appalachian Mountains and send temperatures soaring 30 to 40 degrees by Tuesday. Models continue to shift the track well inland so this will be a quick light snow event changing over to freezing rain in the protected valleys to all rain for the DC to Boston corridor. With the ground rock hard and upwards of 2" of rain possible Tuesday there will certainly be some street flooding in the coastal Northeast since the rain won't be able to soak much into the ground. The heavy snow is actually pushed all the way back into West Virginia, Western PA and Western New York state with this latest storm event. See our facebook fan page for an animation of the snow totals. Both the EURO and GFS models are in near agreement that this is a miss for the coastal Northeast.
Next weekend brings a wholesale change with temperatures some 25 to 35 degrees warmer than this weekend with nearly the entire U.S. with above to much above average temperatures. It's also a huge change from last year when the Polar Vortex parked over the U.S. for weeks - NOT THIS YEAR!
Have a great weekend folks! - Capt Kirk out.