A very strong low-pressure system moved across the Midwest and into the Ohio Valley today, bringing high winds, heavy rain & snow, and even some severe weather to some areas. In addition to those impacts, records were broken for lowest surface pressure ever recorded in some locations earlier today! Terre Haute, IN, Evansville, IN, and Paducah, KY are just some of the sites where records were broken as surface pressure dropped under 980 millibars. This pressure is roughly equivalent to that of a category one or two hurricane!
This strong pressure gradient caused damaging wind gusts of over 60 mph in some spots, even outside of thunderstorms. Even though the pressure is hurricane strength, winds have not reached hurricane force due to friction on land that does not exist over water, limiting wind speeds a bit.
Things have quieted down now into the evening, as we see some clearing. Temperatures fall back into the upper 20s for the overnight low tonight.
Tomorrow, the warmth returns along with maybe a bit of sunshine early on. We warm into the mid-40s for the afternoon high, but a weak cold front comes to pass, bringing rain chances with it for the afternoon.
Scattered rain showers remain possible tomorrow afternoon and evening, with slightly higher coverage to the Southern portions of the viewing area.
This is not our only rain chance for the weekend, as Sunday night going into Monday brings us another chance for some rain. This system also draws in warmer air, keeping our temperatures above normal through Monday.
We will see highs nearly 10 degrees above normal Sunday into Monday. After, we will cool down quite a bit for the rest of the week, back closer to and then below normal to close out next week. Normal high temperatures this time of year are closer to the low 40s.
The cooler weather sticks around a bit longer, as the Climate Prediction Center outlook is strongly favoring below normal temperatures across much of the country for the middle of March.
March is one of the months that warms the most from beginning to end when you look at average highs. Normal high temperatures reach the mid 40s in the next couple weeks, and the mid 50s by the end of the month.
In the meantime, we have a more active pattern with a few chances for rain through the weekend. Temperatures return back closer to normal after a warmer weekend as well.