‘Big concerns’ about Nashville: Severe storms, tornadoes forecast in central, southern US by Doyle Rice, USA TODAY•An outbreak of severe weather, including the threat for „significant tornadoes,” is forecast for portions of the central and southern U.S. on Thursday during the evening and overnight, forecasters warned.Cities at risk include the tornado-ravaged Nashville area, which is still reeling from a violent outbreak just over a week ago. Other metro areas where severe weather is possible include St. Louis, Louisville and Memphis, the Storm Prediction Center said.”Significant/EF2+ rated tornadoes may occur,” the prediction center said. A tornado watch was hoisted Thursday afternoon for portions of Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. This means conditions are favorable for tornadoes to form. Nashville is in the tornado watch area.In addition to the threat of tornadoes, all modes of severe weather will be possible as the thunderstorms erupt, including large hail and damaging wind gusts, AccuWeather warned.March tornadoes: Nashville’s devastating tornado may be the start of a brutal month for twisters in USThe area at risk stretches all the way from central Arkansas to southern Ohio.While storms should start to fire up during the day in some areas, „thunderstorms may not arrive in cities such as Memphis and Nashville until after nightfall,” AccuWeather said.
The storms that ravaged the Nashville area last week happened at night, killing 25 people, many as they slept. „We have big concerns about the threat of nighttime tornadoes,” the National Weather Service in Nashville said. „Now is the time to make sure your NOAA Weather Radio is operational and that you have a second way to get your warnings.”The storm system will clear out of the mid-South and Ohio Valley by Friday morning, AccuWeather said.Also on Thursday, heavy rainfall and the potential of flash flooding from a separate storm system will continue from southern California into the Southwest, the National Weather Service said. Over 12 million people were under a flash flood watch Thursday in the Southwest, including the entire Phoenix metro area.‘Worship in the rubble’: Tennessee tornado ruined churches, but Sunday service went on Contributing: The TennesseanThis article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Nashville tornadoes: Severe weather forecast in central, southern US
These three factors will lead to large heating cost savings across the US by John Roach•
|A cluster of crocus bulbs blossom as temperatures reach the mid-60’s, Monday, March 9, 2020, in Zelienople, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)|
A combination of three circumstances could lead to extraordinary heating cost savings throughout the United States by the end of the 2019-20 heating season.
An historically warm meteorological winter already has produced substantial savings across the country. Now, a crude oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia that began over the weekend meant already falling crude oil prices nose-dived Monday, their biggest one-day crash since the first Gulf War in 1991, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The two main benchmark prices for purchases of oil worldwide – Brent Crude and West Texas Intermediate Crude – have plummeted by more than 40 percent in less than three weeks.
Finally, worldwide concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19) have led to weaker natural gas demand; in particular, two major Chinese buyers declared force majeure on all natural gas imports, a common clause in contracts that frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event occurs.
Those three factors combined will pay off substantially for many in the U.S.
„The exceptionally mild winter and now the collapse of oil prices and natural gas prices can cause large savings in heating costs for people and companies this year,” said AccuWeather Founder and CEO Dr. Joel N. Myers. „This, combined with savings for gasoline for driving, will put more money into consumers’ pockets. The prices at the pumps have not yet reflected the large drop in prices that is coming because of the collapse in oil prices by 40 percent in the last two-plus weeks – perhaps the fastest percentage drop ever.”AccuWeather predicts those savings will continue through the rest of the heating season based on the exclusive AccuWeather 90-day forecast, which is available at AccuWeather.com (search your city to view the monthly outlook). You can also keep apprised of your forecast on the free AccuWeather app.
Major Snowstorms To Slam Western States This Weekend
Old Man Winter isn’t done with the western United States just yet. After all, it’s only mid-March. Storms will crank up across several states beginning Friday, and they will be strong enough to result in potential road closures and power outages into early next week as snow falls hard and winds become wicked.
„Depending on if the snow plows can keep up with the heavy snowfall rates and the heavy winds and the low visibility…the California Highway Patrol may close the road [I-80] for a short period of time.” – Alex Hoon, National Weather Service
A series of storm systems will be moving from the Pacific into the western U.S., producing periods of heavy snowfall in higher elevations of the Cascades, Sierra Nevada, northern Rockies and other ranges. The storms will hit the region from Saturday into at least next Monday, March 16. The abundant, long-lived precipitation will combine with strong winds to make conditions that much worse for truckers and freight movement.
Total snowfall accumulations of 6 to 12 inches will be common across many high terrain areas. However, other spots could see up to 24 inches and parts of the Sierra Nevada and northern Cascades may get buried in 3 to 4 feet of snowfall.
These storms may impact the Sierra Nevada mountains the most, from eastern California into western Nevada. Meteorologist Alex Hoon with the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Reno, Nevada told FreightWaves that the heaviest snowfall in this area will probably be Saturday night into Sunday. He also said storms of this magnitude happen fairly often this time of the year, even though the first day of spring is only one week away.
„It’s not unusual for us to get big storms in the Sierra in March,” Hoon said. „Actually, this is very common for us to see snow in the Sierra all the way through March into April and even into May.”
Hoon added that it snows seven or eight months out of the year in this part of the country, but the snowiest months are typically December through March.
The NWS called March 2019 „miracle March” because it produced periods of heavy snow and rain all month. But the Sierras haven’t had a substantial snowfall since December 2019 and have been in a drought since late January of this year. Hoon is looking forward to this upcoming multi-day storm.
„We need that snowpack. It’s very important for our water supply, not only for Nevada but for California as well,” Hoon stated.
But travel could become dangerous for truckers on Interstate 80, especially over Donner Pass and in the Lake Tahoe area. Wind gusts are forecast to reach 40 to 55 mph snowfall rates will be intense at times. Hoon said he expects chain controls at a minimum, but road closures aren’t out of the question.
„Depending on if the snow plows can keep up with the heavy snowfall rates and the heavy winds and the low visibility…the California Highway Patrol may close the road [I-80] for a short period of time,” Hoon said.
Snow levels could drop to valley floors Saturday night and Sunday, down to 3,500-4,000 feet. The heaviest snowfall will be along the Sierra Crest above 7,000 feet. At lake level in the Lake Tahoe area, look for 12 to 18 inches, including in the vicinity of Truckee, California.
Other trouble spots with possible road closures may include Snoqualmie and Lookout passes on I-90, as well as portions of I-5 in northern California.
Have a great day, and be careful out there!
Image Sourced from Pixabay
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Winter to bring gentle reminder to Northeast that spring is still a week away by Alex Sosnowski•A dose of chilly air will settle over the northeastern United States for the last official weekend of winter.Spring officially arrives on Thursday, March 19, at 11:49 p.m. EDT, the earliest equinox in the U.S. in about 124 years.Following rain and gusty winds Thursday night into Friday, which will usher in the colder air in the first place, a blustery Saturday is in store for most locations. New York Restoration Project@NYRP This is NOT normal Beautiful as they are, this is the earliest our staff has seen cherry trees flower on the Harlem River Esplanade They typically expect blooms mid-April, or a month from now Have you seen any other *very* early signs of spring? Tell us #climatecrisis
Blustery conditions expected on Saturday will make it feel cold in the shade. AccuWeather RealFeel Shade™ Temperatures will be 10-15 degrees lower during the afternoon and perhaps even a bit more extreme early in the morning and toward sunset.Those planning on going for a jog, hike or long walk while trying to deal with the frustration of not attending large gatherings of people, including some sporting events, due to the COVID-19 situation, are reminded to dress with layers to keep warm. Mevan Babakar | میڤان@MeAndVanLook, I know everyone is upset about the #CoronavirusPandemic but here is my dog leaping through daffodils this morning to cheer you up.
The March sun will make it feel considerably warmer sitting in or riding around in the car both days during the midday and afternoon hours.But make no mistake. It will get cold at night, especially where the sky remains clear and winds diminish. During Sunday night, low temperatures are forecast to range from the single digits in northern Maine to the middle 20s in the central Appalachians and near freezing in New York City.
A potential exception to dry and sunny conditions this weekend will be in portions of Ohio, southwestern Pennsylvania, West Virginia, western Maryland and Virginia, where clouds and a period of rain and even wet snow may roll through during Saturday and Saturday night.
Any small accumulation of snow would likely be restricted to the higher elevations of the Appalachian Mountains. However, while snow grazes a small part of the region, Old Man Winter will take his revenge out on part of the West during the last official days of his reign.
The Eastern storm system is not expected to bring any snow to the Interstate-95 corridor, where the winter of 2019-20 will be remembered as being practically snowless.
Philadelphia has received only 0.3 of an inch of snow the entire winter to date, compared to an average of 21 inches. It’s a similar story for Washington, D.C., where only 0.6 of an inch of snow fell when the city’s normal is 15.2 inches. New York City picked up a mere 4.8 inches of snow, compared to an average of about 24 inches. The 15.1-inch snowfall to date in Boston was only about 40 percent of its average of 38.1 inches.
This winter in the coastal mid-Atlantic has been among the least snowy on record. During the winter of 1972-73 in Philadelphia, less than 0.1 of an inch of snow fell.
For those planning a trip to Washington, D.C., in the coming days to check out the cherry blossoms, the National Park Service has moved the peak bloom dates forward by about a week from an earlier prediction. The peak bloom dates are now expected from March 21 to 24.
On average, the peak bloom occurs during late March or early April. Warmer-than-average conditions have contributed to the peak bloom date adjustment.
Temperature departures have been between 5 and 8 degrees above average so far in 2020 along the I-95 corridor. Boston’s temperature since the start of January has averaged 8 degrees above the normal, New York City’s has averaged about 6 degrees above normal, Philadelphia has averaged more than 5 degrees above normal, and D.C. has averaged nearly 6 degrees above normal.
Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.
Storm to dump feet of snow in western US high country, may end up being a ‘March Miracle’ by Alex Sosnowski•It’s way too early to write winter off in the western United States as a combination of an injection of Arctic air and a developing storm will set the stage for soaking coastal rain, travel-snarling snow and frigid conditions.Following a dose of chilly air on Friday, a push of Arctic air will invade the northern Rockies and interior Northwest this weekend.
Even though the surge of Arctic air appears to be more gradual than some blasts that have invaded the region in years past, by the middle of this weekend, some locations will measure temperatures 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit lower when compared to midweek highs.Factoring in AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures, the nighttime hours may feel as much as 80 degrees colder when compared to Wednesday afternoon in Montana, northeastern Idaho and northern Wyoming, with values plummeting well below zero in these areas.
But even near the coast, where places such as Portland, Oregon, had a high near 60 at midweek, actual temperatures are forecast to dip into the middle 20s at night this weekend, when some snowflakes may be flying.
Freezing levels will plunge to most valley floors across the interior Northwest and are likely to end up within a couple hundred feet around Puget Sound, Washington.
Travel over the passes will become slippery and difficult. Blizzard conditions can occur for a time, including Lookout, Homestake and Bozeman passes in Montana along Interstate 90, as well as Marias Pass, along U.S. Route 2 in Montana.
Several inches of snow is forecast in Spokane, Washington, while Medford, Oregon, may pick up only an inch or so of snow from the setup during Saturday night. Meanwhile, Great Falls, Montana, can expect a foot or more of snow to pile up over the weekend.
Boise, Idaho, will be on the southern extent of the snow with a wintry mix likely this weekend. A slushy accumulation can occur mainly on non-paved surfaces during the nighttime and early morning hours.
„This particular setup may deprive the Washington and Oregon Cascades of more than a foot of snow, but the eastern slopes of the northern Rockies, and especially the Sierra Nevada, can pick up multiple feet of snow from the storm,” AccuWeather Chief On-Air Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said.
The heavy and sudden amount of snow over the high country will raise the risk of avalanches.
It is possible that I-80 at Donner Pass, California, may close for a time due to heavy snow and blizzard conditions.
The pattern that continues into early next week over California may end up being a „March miracle” in terms of precipitation, especially with the potential for 3-5 feet of snow to fall on the high country from Saturday through Tuesday.
The Sierra Nevada got off to a good start with early-season heavy snowfall events from November to December. However, most of January and February were void of snow, resulting in a large snowfall deficit for the mountain range.
At the end of February, a survey conducted by the Department of Water Resources at the Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada of California revealed a mere 29 inches of snow depth with a water equivalent of 11.5 inches. This was less than 50% of average for the season so far.
|A small gathering of media attend the California Department of Water Resources third snow survey of the 2020 season at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada. The survey site is approximately 90 miles east of Sacramento off Highway 50 in El Dorado County. Photo taken Feb. 27, 2020. (Kelly M. Grow / California Department of Water Resources)|
Rain will spread southward along the Pacific coast as the storm spins just offshore.
„The storm should deliver a thorough soaking to most coastal areas from Oregon this weekend through Northern California early next week,” Rayno said.
„For these coastal areas, we are probably looking at a general 0.50 of an inch to an inch of rain with locally higher amounts, especially on mountainsides, in the lower elevations,” he added.
The rainfall is especially important for Northern California as a storm bypassed the region and aimed at Southern California this week. Areas over the southern third of the state picked up between 0.50 of an inch and 2 inches of rain.
Rain and mountain snow are forecast to spread into Southern California during the middle and latter part of next week as well. Rainfall may be similar to that of Northern California or greater.
„It does look like freezing levels will dip enough over Southern California for snow to fall on Cajon and Tejon passes during the second half of week,” Rayno said.
Once the storm pivots toward Southern California, rain and high country snow will spread inland well over the Southwest late next week. The new storm is likely to unleash a second soaking in a week’s time. The storm still affecting the Southwest this week had deposited about 0.10 of an inch of rain in Tucson, Arizona, to 0.50 of an inch of rain in Las Vegas and 2 inches of rain in Yuma, Arizona, as of Thursday morning, March 12.
As stormy and cold weather lingers in the West, one or more large outbreaks of severe weather may unfold over the Central states, where warm and humid air is likely to surge northward later next week.
Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.