A major winter storm brought heavy snow and blizzard conditions at times to parts of the Midwest on Friday.
Published: 2021-01-16 06:40 am
Heavy snow hits Northeast as California sees record heat, critical fire danger

A major winter storm brought heavy snow and blizzard conditions at times to parts of the Midwest on Friday.

Parts of southern Minnesota saw over 8 inches of snow, and Iowa saw over 6 inches in cities like Des Moines. Gusty winds at over 40 mph caused near zero visibility at times.

Behind this major storm, powerful winds raced down the Great Plains with gusts of over 60 mph. The strong winds behind the storm caused parts of I-70 to be closed east of Denver toward Kansas. Blowing dust caused near zero visibility at times, especially from southeast Colorado to the Texas Panhandle.

Saturday morning, impacts from the storm have hit the Northeast, which has seen heavy snow and heavy rain. The weather radar this morning is showing bands of heavy snow for the interior Northeast.

Lightning has been detected in some of the snow moving into upstate New York Saturday morning.

Much of southern New England and into the major I-95 cities are seeing heavy rain. A big part of the region has been dry for the last 10 days or so, so this soaking was needed.

The heavy rain and snow will continue through the morning in the Northeast. Up to a foot of snow will be accumulate in parts of upstate New York, the highest elevations of Vermont and into parts of Maine.

A burst of gusty winds is expected Saturday in the Northeast, but as the storm slowly moves out, even gustier winds will arrive by Sunday. Gusts could reach 50 mph on the New England coastline, which will be enough to knock over some trees and possibly cause power outages.

The Southwest, meanwhile, is seeing record heat and critical fire weather.

San Diego tied its all-time January high temperature record on Friday, when it hit 88 degrees. The last time San Diego hit this temperature in January was in 1953. Camarillo, California, near Los Angeles, hit 94 degrees, which also tied the city's all-time January high temperature record. This was also the hottest spot across the nation Friday.

Daily heat records were also broken in Burbank, Long Beach and at Los Angeles International Airport.

Some more daily records will be hit or surpassed Saturday in parts of Southern California.

It looks like gusts of up to 60 mph will be possible through Saturday morning in Southern California, while humidity could be in the single digits. This could cause extreme fire behavior.

The fire danger will subside briefly on Sunday, but more wind and fire danger is set to arrive late Sunday into Monday.

A mature mid-latitude cyclone is currently over the eastern Pacific. The storm is actually bringing very high surf to Hawaii this weekend.

Unlike the last few storms, this storm is heading into parts of Canada. Such movement will help push colder air over the Rocky Mountains.

Another strong offshore wind event will hit Southern California by Monday. It could be stronger than the current wind event, and while humidity looks a bit higher this time around, critical fire weather conditions are still expected.

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