In this last week of October, a storm is impacting millions of people across the United States, with a fury that hasn't been seen in decades. This storm has many different sides, including severe weather, gusty winds, and even winter weather!
In meteorology, we use air pressure as a way to determine exactly how strong a storm is. A storm with lower pressure is generally going to mean a stronger storm. As of Tuesday evening, the central pressure in the storm was 957 millibars which is about 28.26" of mercury. This pressure is equivalent to the pressure levels that are found in many category 3 hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean! It also ranks as one of the lowest pressures in a storm ever recorded in this part of the country, including the storm that sank the SS Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975 on Lake Superior.
To give you an idea of how diverse this storm is, here are some of the impacts that have been felt across the country on Tuesday. In the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys there have been almost two dozen preliminary reports of tornadoes, some of which led to some serious structural damage for barns and houses. There were also incredibly gusty winds associated with some of the thunderstorms in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. Some of the gusts topped 80 miles per hour, leading to more damage across the region. There were more than 250 occurrences of damaging winds across several states on Tuesday.
Across the northern Plains, ferocious winds continue to blow. In some areas, the winds are gusting to near hurricane force. In North Dakota the gusty winds are combining with snow to produce blizzard conditions! Up to 6" of snow can be expected in North Dakota and wind chills will be in the single digits -- a true taste of winter.
Compared to what other parts of the country are seeing, our weather will be a bit more tame in comparison. That being said, we can expect showers and thunderstorms Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning and some of these storms could contain gusty winds in excess of 40 miles per hour.
If you have any questions or comments on this storm, feel free to post them in the comments section!