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Weather forecasting and analysis, space and historic events, climate information

2:30 PM | ****More on today' extreme cold and tomorrow's accumulating snow and ice threat****

Paul Dorian

records_for_feb_20_2015

Discussion

More on today’s extreme cold A bit more on this morning’s extreme cold in the eastern US... dozens and dozens of records were set this morning throughout the eastern US and some are summarized in the table above provided by NOAA. Philadelphia International Airport bottomed out at 2 degrees above zero which did not break a record as it missed a tie by just one degree; however, it was the coldest reading in Philadelphia since January 20, 1994 – i.e., the coldest in Philly in 21 years. Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC broke a record held there since 1896 by reaching 5 degrees this morning. This was the first time since 1996 in Washington, DC that the temperature fell to as low as 5 degrees (above zero).. Lynchburg, Virginia absolutely smashed their daily record this morning by plunging to -11 degrees with the previous record of +7 degrees being set in 1896. In fact, this turned out to be the all-time lowest temperature ever recorded in Lynchburg, Virginia. Additionally, Flint, Michigan attained their all-time low temperature this morning by plunging to -25 degrees. Earlier in the week, Cape Girardeau, Missouri (-19 degrees), Erie, Pennsylvania (-18 degrees), and Jamestown, New York (-31 degrees) set their all-time low temperature records.

Accumulating snow and ice threat on Saturday A large area of moisture is headed our way this weekend and it will arrive during the day on Saturday in the form of snow with accumulations very likely followed by an extended period of icing (sleet, freezing rain) in many areas. Eventually, advancing warmer air will likely cause a changeover of the snow to sleet and freezing rain and then ultimately to plain rain - at least in the immediate I-95 corridor and points south and east. However, before the snow changes to sleet and freezing rain, it is likely that snow accumulations reach 2-5 inches in the region from DC-to-Philly-to-NYC with the higher amounts in that range to the north and west and the lesser amounts to the south and east. There will be an extended period of icing following the accumulating snow and before any eventual change to plain rain. Snow should develop in the DC metro region during the late morning-to-mid-day hours, in Philly during the mid-day-to-early afternoon hours, and in the NYC region by late afternoon. The period of icing is in DC is likely during the late afternoon/early evening hours, in Philly during the early-to-mid part of tomorrow night and then late at night in the NYC region. Before the snow mixes with and then changes over to sleet and freezing rain, it will come down quite heavily at times. Given the extremely cold ground conditions and potential heavy snowfall before the changeover, snow accumulations will likely be quite rapid.