Sunday, December 14, 2008

Amazing Cold Front

The cold front that has been plunging southward today continues to do so through nearly the entire plains states. This front not only has such deep cold air behind it that is creating below zero readings from Montana through the Dakotas and Minnesota, but is so strong that is has over 30 degree drops in temperature along it without the aid of any precipitation! Temperatures are in the teens from northern Minnesota into the panhandle of Oklahoma, with temperatures in the 50s as far north as Illinois ahead of the cold front. The low pressure system responsible for such a strong front can clearly be seen through the image below, just temperature gradients alone should give it away let along the strong winds that wrap up nicely around it.

The image below should tell it all, with the temperatures shown in the red text, and temperatures also color-contoured for emphasis. Winds shown through the wind barbs as well to indicate the cold air rushing in behind as the front passes.