NATIONAL WEATHER SUMMARY:
Quiet weather conditions were in place again Thursday across the eastern third of the country. A few light rain and snow showers passed across New England during the morning with a few more rain showers across the Ohio Valley, otherwise it was dry with mild temperatures throughout the east.
The Central U.S. experienced the most notable weather for the day. Low pressure strengthened as it advanced from the Central Plains to northern Illinois by evening. Heavy snow to the north of the low tracked from North Dakota through southern Minnesota and central and northern Wisconsin producing a widespread swath of 5-10 inches of snow. Thunder and lightning accompanied some of the snow and for most of this region this was the greatest snowfall of the season. Rain fell further to the south from most of Iowa through southern Wisconsin, Illinois and lower Michigan. Rain was heavy at times with over an inch of rain common through this area including nearly 2 inches in the Chicago area which prompted flash flood warnings. Numerous thunderstorms were also recorded across the Midwest with several hail and severe wind reports from Iowa through Arkansas. To the South, very warm conditions across Texas and Oklahoma led to many record highs including in San Angelo, Texas which set an all time February record of 96. High temperatures varied over 100 degrees for the day from southern Texas to northern North Dakota where highs were in the single digits below zero.
Cold temperatures and heavy snow moved across the northwest U.S. along a cold front. A rare two inches of snow fell on Seattle, Wash. during the early morning hours. Snow was exiting the Cascades by afternoon but heavy snow was forecast through much of Montana and Wyoming into the overnight prompting winter storm warnings. The southwest U.S. through the four corners region was dry Thursday with near normal temperatures.
WEATHER EXTREMES FOR YESTERDAY:
HIGHEST TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F).............98 Laredo, TX
HIGHEST HEAT INDEX (DEGREES F)..............96 Laredo, TX
LOWEST TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F)..............-8 St. Mary, MT
LOWEST WIND CHILL (DEGREES F)..............-35 Grand Forks, ND
HIGHEST WIND GUST (MPH).....................63 Guadalupe Pass, TX
HIGHEST PRECIPITATION (INCHES)............1.95 Chicago-OHare, IL
ON THIS DATE IN HISTORY:
In 1969, a record snowstorm buried areas from northeast Massachusetts through Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine in 2-4 feet of snow. Several single story homes were covered in drifts and many roofs collapsed under the extreme weight of heavy snow. Portland, Maine set their single storm snowfall record with 26.9 inches and Portsmouth, N.H. had a record 33.8 inches.
In 1984, a blizzard affected areas of Missouri, Illinois and Indiana with 2 feet of snow reported at Rolla and Vichy, Mo. Winds gusting to 50 mph caused several roads to be impassable for days after the storm.
In 1997, several daily record highs were reached in the eastern U.S., including: Raleigh, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; Atlantic City, N.J.; Allentown, Pa. and Rochester, N.Y. New York's Kennedy Airport set an all time February record high of 70.
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