Feb 19th-20th Storm Review

Synopsis (courtesy of NWS Chicago)

A very dynamic storm system impacted the area Wednesday night through Friday. This produced everything from some winter precipitation, to thunderstorms, dense fog, and even very strong winds across the area.

The storm system first developed across the plains on Wednesday. Then, as the system progressed eastward Wednesday night, it induced a strengthening wind field a couple thousand feet off the ground. This is typically referred to by meteorologists as a low level jet. This low level jet pumped warmer and very moist air northward across the Mississippi Valley to the Lower Great Lakes region Wednesday night. As this moisture reached northern Illinois, strong convergence occurred along the northern periphery of the strongest southerly wind field late Wednesday night into Thursday. This is highlighted in the figure below. Ultimately, this continual moisture convergence across Northern Illinois led to the development of moderate to heavy precipitation across the area during the predawn hours of Thursday morning.   
Most areas just received periods of moderate to heavy rain from this initial surge of moisture late Wednesday night. However, areas across far northern Illinois, especially areas north of interstate 88, were cold enough for the precipitation to begin as a period of wet snow, sleet and freezing rain. This resulted in a quick 1 to 2 inches of heavy wet snow accumulation early Thursday morning across far northern Illinois from this initial band of precipitation. Elsewhere across the area, thunderstorms with periods of heavy rain were the rule into Thursday morning. Then, during the afternoon Thursday, a surface warm front begin lifting northward across the area. With a much warmer and very moist airmass associated with this warm front, the combination of the melting snow and rapidly increasing low level moisture resulted in the development of very dense fog area-wide. This fog produced near-zero visibilities for a few hours Thursday afternoon.   
During the late afternoon and early evening on Thursday, a line of showers and thunderstorms moved across the region ahead of an approaching strong cold front. These storms did not reach severe limits across northern Illinois or northwestern Indiana. However, our neighbors to the south across central Illinois did experience some severe gusty thunderstorms, with even a couple of tornados reported across west central Illinois.
Finally, as the surface low moved into southern Wisconsin early Thursday evening, it pushed a strong cold front across the area. In the wake of this front the winds increased significantly out of the southwest.  Winds gusted between 50 to 65 mph for a period Thursday evening following this frontal passage. The wind magnitudes were so strong due to the fact that the surface low continued to strengthen rapidly as it was moving northward across Wisconsin. This resulted in a very strong pressure gradient as surface high pressure set up across the southern United States.  

 

Below is a loop of the satellite water vapor imagery (similar to the figure above). The blue colder colors show areas of enhanced moisture in the atmosphere, such as that from clouds and precipitation, while the warmer colors indicated drier areas in the atmosphere. This information is useful to meteorologists as we track storm systems across the country in real time. Also shown is the location and track of the surface low. The green arrows are the moisture transport vectors approximately 3,500 feet above the ground. This shows us that significant moisture was rapidly being transported northward from the Gulf of Mexico. A large influx of deep moisture is an important ingredient in heavy precipitation.    Note that the loop starts late Wednesday night and runs through late Wednesday afternoon.


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Radar Loops (Courtesy of NWS La Crosse)
Regional Radar Loop: 8 am - 830 pm February 20 2014 Regional Radar Loop: 330 pm - 11 pm February, 20th 2014
   
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2/19 Rainfall 2/20 Rainfall Storm Total
 
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**************Table of Storm Reports**************
PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE QUAD CITIES IA IL
912 PM CST THU FEB 20 2014

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
            ..REMARKS..

1219 PM     HEAVY RAIN       2 SSE BURLINGTON        40.79N 91.11W
02/20/2014  M2.00 INCH       DES MOINES         IA   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STORM TOTAL SO FAR.

1226 PM     HAIL             VICTOR                  41.73N 92.29W
02/20/2014  E0.25 INCH       IOWA               IA   TRAINED SPOTTER

0107 PM     HAIL             WASHINGTON              41.30N 91.69W
02/20/2014  M0.75 INCH       WASHINGTON         IA   FIRE DEPT/RESCUE

            DIME SIZE HAIL LASTED 5 MINUTES.

0117 PM     HAIL             N RIVERSIDE             41.48N 91.57W
02/20/2014  M0.25 INCH       WASHINGTON         IA   TRAINED SPOTTER

0122 PM     HAIL             HILLS                   41.57N 91.54W
02/20/2014  M0.50 INCH       JOHNSON            IA   TRAINED SPOTTER

            PEA TO DIME SIZE HAIL. LASTING 3 MIN. VIA ESPOTTER.

0135 PM     HAIL             MARION                  42.03N 91.59W
02/20/2014  M1.00 INCH       LINN               IA   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            INTERSECTION OF HWYS 13 AND 151

0153 PM     HAIL             W PLEASANT PLAIN        41.15N 91.86W
02/20/2014  E0.25 INCH       JEFFERSON          IA   TRAINED SPOTTER

0200 PM     HEAVY RAIN       3 ENE CHARLIE HEATH MEM 40.60N 91.84W
02/20/2014  M1.80 INCH       CLARK              MO   TRAINED SPOTTER

            TOTAL.

0200 PM     HAIL             1 E BRIGHTON            41.17N 91.80W
02/20/2014  M0.25 INCH       WASHINGTON         IA   CO-OP OBSERVER

            LASTED 2 MIN.

0200 PM     TSTM WND DMG     IOWA CITY               41.66N 91.54W
02/20/2014                   JOHNSON            IA   EMERGENCY MNGR

            FEW POWER LINES DOWN BENTON STREET

0202 PM     HAIL             S WELLMAN               41.47N 91.84W
02/20/2014  M0.25 INCH       WASHINGTON         IA   TRAINED SPOTTER

0208 PM     FLOOD            FORT MADISON            40.62N 91.35W
02/20/2014                   LEE                IA   TRAINED SPOTTER

            ROADWAYS BECOMING FLOODED. FLOODING IS OCCURRING AND
            PASSING UNDER DOORWAYS AND ENTERING HALLWAYS THROUGH FORT
            MADISON HIGH SCHOOL. HEAVY RAIN SUBSIDED BY 226PM. VIA
            ESPOTTER.

0213 PM     SLEET            1 SSE CEDAR RAPIDS      41.95N 91.66W
02/20/2014  E0.00 INCH       LINN               IA   TRAINED SPOTTER

            HEAVY SLEET FALLING.

0216 PM     HAIL             5 NW IOWA CITY          41.71N 91.60W
02/20/2014  M0.25 INCH       JOHNSON            IA   TRAINED SPOTTER

            HEAVY RAIN AND PEA SIZE HAIL LASTED 5 MIN.

0218 PM     HAIL             1 E IOWA CITY           41.66N 91.51W
02/20/2014  M0.25 INCH       JOHNSON            IA   TRAINED SPOTTER

            LASTED 2 MIN.

0219 PM     HAIL             1 SSE CEDAR RAPIDS      41.95N 91.66W
02/20/2014  M0.25 INCH       LINN               IA   TRAINED SPOTTER

            VIA ESPOTTER.

0222 PM     HAIL             4 W CEDAR RAPIDS        41.96N 91.75W
02/20/2014  M0.25 INCH       LINN               IA   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STRONG WINDS WITH HAIL.

0222 PM     HAIL             MARION                  42.03N 91.59W
02/20/2014  M0.50 INCH       LINN               IA   TRAINED SPOTTER

            PEA TO MARBLE SIZE FROM 1422 TO 1425. VIA ESPOTTER.

0222 PM     HAIL             FORT MADISON            40.62N 91.35W
02/20/2014  M0.50 INCH       LEE                IA   TRAINED SPOTTER

            PEA TO DIME SIZE HAIL. SOME IN TOWN ROADS HAVE 1 FOOT OF
            WATER ON THEM.

0224 PM     HAIL             HIAWATHA                42.05N 91.68W
02/20/2014  M0.25 INCH       LINN               IA   TRAINED SPOTTER

            NUMEROUS REPORTS OF PEA SIZE HAIL WITHIN A FEW MINUTES OF
            THIS REPORT TIME.

0224 PM     HAIL             3 S CEDAR RAPIDS        41.92N 91.66W
02/20/2014  M0.25 INCH       LINN               IA   TRAINED SPOTTER

0230 PM     HAIL             W BURLINGTON            40.81N 91.12W
02/20/2014  M0.25 INCH       DES MOINES         IA   TRAINED SPOTTER

            LASTED FOR AROUND 5 MIN.

0235 PM     HAIL             2 NNW MARION            42.06N 91.61W
02/20/2014  M0.25 INCH       LINN               IA   TRAINED SPOTTER

            VIA FACEBOOK.

0250 PM     TSTM WND GST     2 W LIME CITY           41.65N 91.12W
02/20/2014  M61.00 MPH       CEDAR              IA   DEPT OF HIGHWAYS

            IADOT OBSERVATION

0302 PM     FLOOD            1 ENE FORT MADISON      40.63N 91.33W
02/20/2014                   LEE                IA   TRAINED SPOTTER

            FLOODING AT 12TH AND AVE H.

0306 PM     HAIL             SE MUSCATINE            41.41N 91.07W
02/20/2014  M0.25 INCH       MUSCATINE          IA   TRAINED SPOTTER

0315 PM     TSTM WND DMG     4 W MAQUOKETA           42.07N 90.74W
02/20/2014                   JACKSON            IA   CO-OP OBSERVER

            1/2 OF HOUSE SHINGLES WERE BLOWN OFF HOUSE. NOT SURE OF
            EXACT WIND SPEED.

0315 PM     HAIL             4 W MAQUOKETA           42.07N 90.74W
02/20/2014  M0.25 INCH       JACKSON            IA   CO-OP OBSERVER

            1/8 TO 1/4 INCH HAIL.

0342 PM     SLEET            W BELLE PLAINE          41.90N 92.28W
02/20/2014  E0.00 INCH       BENTON             IA   TRAINED SPOTTER

0352 PM     HEAVY RAIN       WASHINGTON              41.30N 91.69W
02/20/2014  M1.45 INCH       WASHINGTON         IA   PUBLIC

            RELAYED VIA MEDIA.

0357 PM     HEAVY RAIN       2 N NEW WINDSOR         41.23N 90.45W
02/20/2014  M1.31 INCH       MERCER             IL   TRAINED SPOTTER

            TOTAL FOR LAST 18 HOURS. 0.62 INCH SINCE 700AM. VIA
            ESPOTTER.

0400 PM     HEAVY RAIN       PARK VIEW               41.69N 90.54W
02/20/2014  M1.16 INCH       SCOTT              IA   NWS EMPLOYEE

            STORM TOTAL RAINFALL THROUGH 4 PM

0415 PM     HAIL             4 ENE FREEPORT          42.32N 89.57W
02/20/2014  M0.25 INCH       STEPHENSON         IL   TRAINED SPOTTER

            1/4 TO 3/8 INCH HAIL.

0445 PM     HEAVY RAIN       1 NW DAVENPORT          41.56N 90.61W
02/20/2014  M1.28 INCH       SCOTT              IA   TRAINED SPOTTER

            TOTAL.

0500 PM     HEAVY RAIN       MARION                  42.03N 91.59W
02/20/2014  M0.71 INCH       LINN               IA   CO-OP OBSERVER

            24HR TOTAL AT COOP SITE. SNOW DEPTH IS 11 INCHES.

0500 PM     HEAVY RAIN       HENNEPIN                41.26N 89.32W
02/20/2014  M1.91 INCH       PUTNAM             IL   CO-OP OBSERVER

            24HR TOTAL.

0550 PM     HEAVY RAIN       1 WSW BROCK             40.55N 92.17W
02/20/2014  M1.60 INCH       SCOTLAND           MO   TRAINED SPOTTER

            TOTAL.

0600 PM     HEAVY RAIN       DONNELLSON              40.64N 91.56W
02/20/2014  M2.21 INCH       LEE                IA   CO-OP OBSERVER

            STORM TOTAL OF 24 HOUR EVENT RAINFALL

0600 PM     HEAVY RAIN       AUGUSTA                 40.75N 91.28W
02/20/2014  M2.40 INCH       LEE                IA   CO-OP OBSERVER

            24HR PERIOD.

0600 PM     HEAVY RAIN       MOLINE QUAD-CITY AIRPOR 41.45N 90.50W
02/20/2014  M1.30 INCH       ROCK ISLAND        IL   OFFICIAL NWS OBS

            24HR TOTAL.

0600 PM     HEAVY RAIN       DAVENPORT MUNICIPAL AIR 41.62N 90.58W
02/20/2014  M1.14 INCH       SCOTT              IA   OFFICIAL NWS OBS

            24HR TOTAL.

0600 PM     HEAVY RAIN       IOWA CITY MUNICIPAL AIR 41.63N 91.55W
02/20/2014  M0.76 INCH       JOHNSON            IA   ASOS

            24HR TOTAL.

0600 PM     HEAVY RAIN       DUBUQUE REGIONAL AIRPOR 42.40N 90.72W
02/20/2014  M0.49 INCH       DUBUQUE            IA   ASOS

            24HR TOTAL.

0600 PM     HEAVY RAIN       CEDAR RAPIDS MUNICIPAL  41.88N 91.72W
02/20/2014  M0.66 INCH       LINN               IA   ASOS

            24HR TOTAL.

0600 PM     HEAVY RAIN       BURLINGTON REGIONAL AIR 40.78N 91.13W
02/20/2014  M1.84 INCH       DES MOINES         IA   ASOS

            24HR TOTAL.

0851 PM     HEAVY RAIN       W CANTRIL               40.64N 92.07W
02/20/2014  M1.28 INCH       VAN BUREN          IA   TRAINED SPOTTER

            TOTAL.


&&

THE REPORTS BELOW ARE SEPARATED INTO SNOW...AND ICE AND SLEET
CATEGORIES...THEN BY AMOUNT...AND ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE
FINAL AMOUNT FOR EACH LOCATION.




SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN REPORTS LISTED BY AMOUNT

 INCHES  LOCATION                 ST  COUNTY           TIME
 ------  -----------------------  --  --------------   -------
  0.0    W BELLE PLAINE           IA  BENTON           0342 PM
  0.0    1 SSE CEDAR RAPIDS       IA  LINN             0213 PM 
 
 

 



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