A huge, intense low pressure storm system is affecting the eastern half of the U.S., stretching from the Dakotas to the Gulf of Mexico. Blizzard Warnings are in effect for North Dakota, where the first snowstorm of the season is occurring with strong wind gusts up to 40-50 mph producing blowing snow. Wind Advisories blanket about a third of the U.S., from the Plains to the Ohio and Mississippi Valley states. But the main threat resulting from this system is severe weather in the form of damaging straight-line winds and isolated tornadoes. Squall lines have developed ahead of the surface cold front, producing wind gusts in excess of 60 and 70 mph. Embedded within these lines, there have also been isolated tornadoes producing even stronger winds. As of this blog entry mid-day Tuesday, there have been multiple tornadoes reported from Wisconsin to Kentucky, and there are tornado warnings ongoing from Ohio to northern Alabama.
In the Mid-Atlantic, we've had several days of good south and southwest flow allowing a surge of warmer, more humid air into our region (especially today!). This Spring-like airmass will be in place for the approaching cold front on Wednesday, leading to strong to severe thunderstorm development in Virginia. Our threats will be the same as what is happening today to our west: damaging straight-line winds around 70 mph, embedded isolated tornadoes, large hail, and torrential downpours. Wednesday afternoon and night will be especially prone to these threats, as the cold front moves into central Virginia. Stay with CBS6, we'll keep you ahead of the storm!