An extensive snow storm has been passing over the West and approaching the Northeastern coast of the United States since Monday. The blizzard continues to develop and with it will bring record lows the rest of the week along with a variety of hazards to the affected regions. The rest of the country will experience abnormally warm weather for the month of February and even record record highs in the Mid Atlantic through Southeast regions.
The system is an arctic air mass originally coming from Canada which has assimilated with an “increasingly warm and moist air streaming in from the Gulf of Mexico”. It is currently making its way down the midwestern, central, and northeastern United States, according to the Weather Prediction Center.
The storm’s snowfall, which is already measuring about two feet in height in various parts of the nation, will likely triple in height as the “probability of snow totals over 8 [inches]” in South Dakota, Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, and Michigan as reported by the WPS. Furthermore, in many states, such as Minnesota, schools have been closed and classes either canceled or moved to remote learning for the week. In the New England region, the storm will hit the area starting on Wednesday and, in addition, its residents may experience sleet and ice patches on the roads.
Meanwhile, in the Mid Atlantic and Southeastern parts of the East coast, the weather will be soaring well past the 70-degree Fahrenheit mark, which is not common for this time of year. The Washington DC area is expected to reach the 80s on Thursday as the system continues. This will be 20-30 degrees over the usual temperatures of February, and is expected to affect a region ranging from Maryland to Florida, which may disturb an estimated 150 million people.
This drastic weather contrast appears to be abnormal, as it is coming in with such intensity. The National Weather Service even went on to call it, “significantly anomalous”. The record temperature extremes that are manifesting in each coast are mainly concerning as they also signify stronger consequences related to climate change. This implies that it is more specifically global warming, which has become the explanation that scientists have found for this temperature and weather pattern.
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