National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Cold Front Dropping South Across the Western U.S.; Watching Threat for Tornadoes and Flooding in the South

A cold front will push south across the Western U.S. into Tuesday with mountain snow and areas of gusty to high winds. An area of low pressure will form along this front on Tuesday and bring a potential for severe thunderstorms with tornadoes and excessive rainfall in the lower to mid Mississippi River Valley. To the north, heavy snow is possible in parts of the upper Midwest. Read More >

 
 
Fast Facts of this Winter Event
 
Snow Difference
 
  • The highest snowfall amounts and impacts on February 24th were observed in Lake and Porter Counties in northwest Indiana, where several locations saw over one foot. This combined with winds gusting in excess of 40 mph created near zero visibility at times, and led to motorists being stranded and requiring rescue.
  • The official snowfall for Chicago was 1.7" observed at O'Hare International Airport.
  • Other snowfall amounts include 1.9" near Chicago Midway International Airport (3 miles southwest) and 0.2" at the NWS Chicago office in Romeoville. 


 

Snowfall Summary
 

 

Total Snowfall

The largest snowfall amounts across northwest Indiana and portions of Cook, Will, and Kankakee counties in northeast Illinois ranged from 8 to 12 inches but locally higher amounts of 14-17 inches also were reported.

 

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO IL
1033 AM CST THU FEB 25 2016

...MORNING SNOWFALL ROUNDUP...

   THE FOLLOWING ARE SNOW AMOUNTS FOR THE PREVIOUS 24-HOURS.
   OBSERVATIONS ARE USUALLY TAKEN AT 7 AM.

   24-HOUR SNOWFALL AMOUNTS FOR THURSDAY(02/25/16)...


NORTHERN ILLINOIS                              SNOW
  LOCATION (COUNTY):                           FALL(INCHES)

  CRETE 3E (WILL)...............................9.1
  LANSING (COOK)................................7.7
  PEOTONE (WILL)................................6.2
  PEOTONE (WILL)................................6.2
  PARK FOREST 1SW (COOK)........................6.0
  PARK FOREST (COOK)............................6.0
  WATSEKA 6.9WNW (IROQUOIS).....................5.7
  HOMEWOOD (COOK)...............................5.5
  ST ANNE (KANKAKEE)............................3.8
  CHATSWORTH (LIVINGSTON).......................3.0
  CHATSWORTH (LIVINGSTON).......................3.0
  PAXTON (FORD).................................3.0
  KANKAKEE (KANKAKEE)...........................2.8
  ASHKUM 5.6E (IROQUOIS)........................2.6
  CHICAGO RIDGE (COOK)..........................2.5
  MANHATTAN (WILL)..............................2.2
  DWIGHT (LIVINGSTON)...........................2.0
  NEW LENOX 2SE (WILL)..........................2.0
  PONTIAC (LIVINGSTON)..........................2.0
  WILLOW SPRINGS (COOK).........................2.0
  NEW LENOX 3E (WILL)...........................1.9
  MIDWAY COOP (COOK)............................1.9
  FAIRBURY (LIVINGSTON).........................1.8
  WORTH (COOK)..................................1.8
  OHARE (COOK)..................................1.7
  BOURBONNAIS (KANKAKEE)........................1.6
  OAK LAWN (COOK)...............................1.4
  OAK PARK 1NNE (COOK)..........................1.2
  ELK GROVE VILLAGE 2WSW (COOK).................1.2
  COUNTRYSIDE 1ENE (COOK).......................1.2
  HOMER GLEN 1ENE (WILL)........................1.2
  SCHAUMBURG  2E (COOK).........................1.1
  ELK GROVE VILLAGE 1ESE (COOK).................1.1
  LA GRANGE PARK 1SSW (COOK)....................1.1
  PARK RIDGE (COOK).............................1.0
  BONFIELD 4WSW (KANKAKEE)......................1.0
  BURR RIDGE 2SW (DU PAGE)......................0.9
  ELMHURST 1ESE (DU PAGE).......................0.8
  ST. CHARLES (KANE)............................0.8
  WESTMONT (DU PAGE)............................0.8
  LISLE MORTON ARB (DU PAGE)....................0.7
  PALATINE 1E (COOK)............................0.6
  WINFIELD (DU PAGE)............................0.6
  HOFFMAN ESTATES 5W (COOK).....................0.5
  OAK PARK 2S (COOK)............................0.5
  BOLINGBROOK 3NE (DU PAGE).....................0.5
  LINCOLNSHIRE 1N (LAKE)........................0.5
  JOLIET LOCK/DAM (WILL)........................0.5
  MUNDELEIN (LAKE)..............................0.5
  LINCOLNWOOD 2E (COOK).........................0.4
  AURORA 4SE (DU PAGE)..........................0.4
  NORTH AURORA 2NE (KANE).......................0.4
  ELGIN 2W (KANE)...............................0.4
  RIVERWOODS (LAKE).............................0.4
  LAKE ZURICH (LAKE)............................0.4
  BATAVIA (KANE)................................0.3
  BOTANIC GARDENS (COOK)........................0.3
  PARK RIDGE 1WNW (COOK)........................0.3
  AURORA 4SE (DU PAGE)..........................0.3
  PLAINFIELD 5SW (KENDALL)......................0.3
  ELGIN (KANE)..................................0.2
  HARWOOD HEIGHTS 2NNE (COOK)...................0.2
  PLAINFIELD 2SSE (WILL)........................0.2
  ROMEOVILLE (WILL).............................0.2
  AURORA (KANE).................................0.1
  LINCOLNWOOD 3E (COOK).........................0.1
  DE KALB (DE KALB).............................0.1
  LAKE VILLA 1SSW (LAKE)........................0.1
  MUNDELEIN (LAKE)..............................0.1
  LAKE VILLA 2WSW (LAKE)........................0.1
  BELVIDERE (BOONE)...........................TRACE
  COAL CITY 4NNW (GRUNDY).....................TRACE
  DE KALB (DE KALB)...........................TRACE
  ELGIN (KANE)................................TRACE
  ELBURN (KANE)...............................TRACE
  EARLVILLE 3S (LA SALLE).....................TRACE
  GENOA (DE KALB).............................TRACE
  ROGERS PARK 2SW (COOK)......................TRACE
  CORTLAND (DE KALB)..........................TRACE
  MALTA (DE KALB).............................TRACE
  CARBON HILL 3.1N (GRUNDY)...................TRACE
  BRACEVILLE (GRUNDY).........................TRACE
  SUGAR GROVE 1NE (KANE)......................TRACE
  ELGIN 1S (KANE).............................TRACE
  BATAVIA 2WNW (KANE).........................TRACE
  BATAVIA 1WNW (KANE).........................TRACE
  ST. CHARLES 6NW (KANE)......................TRACE
  GENEVA 1SSW (KANE)..........................TRACE
  ELBURN (KANE)...............................TRACE
  BEACH PARK 1W (LAKE)........................TRACE
  WAUKEGAN 2N (LAKE)..........................TRACE
  OTTAWA 1NW (LA SALLE).......................TRACE
  OTTAWA 2N (LA SALLE)........................TRACE
  STREATOR 4ENE (LA SALLE)....................TRACE
  MENDOTA 2SE (LA SALLE)......................TRACE
  BULL VALLEY 2WNW (MCHENRY)..................TRACE
  ALGONQUIN 1N (MCHENRY)......................TRACE
  CARY (MCHENRY)..............................TRACE
  PLAINFIELD 1SW (WILL).......................TRACE
  LOCKPORT 1SE (WILL).........................TRACE
  ROSCOE 2ESE (WINNEBAGO).....................TRACE
  MACHESNEY PARK 3ENE (WINNEBAGO).............TRACE
  JOLIET 2N (WILL)............................TRACE
  MCHENRY (MCHENRY)...........................TRACE
  ROCHELLE (OGLE).............................TRACE
  ROCKFORD (WINNEBAGO)........................TRACE
  ROSCOE 2SE (WINNEBAGO)......................TRACE
  YORKVILLE 2SE (KENDALL).....................TRACE

NORTHWEST INDIANA                              SNOW
  LOCATION (COUNTY):                           FALL(INCHES)

  HOBART 1NNW (LAKE)...........................15.5
  LAKES OF THE FOUR SEASONS 2NNE (PORTER)......15.0
  CROWN POINT 2WSW (LAKE)......................14.5
  LOWELL (LAKE)................................13.3
  VALPARAISO 6WSW (PORTER).....................13.0
  CROWN POINT 1N (LAKE)........................12.5
  (WV90)HOBART 1ENE (LAKE).....................12.0
  PORTAGE 3E (PORTER)..........................12.0
  VALPARAISO 1SE (PORTER)......................11.5
  RENSSELAER 2SSW (JASPER).....................10.5
  HEBRON 4NE (PORTER)..........................10.5
  DE MOTTE 1NNW (JASPER).......................10.0
  DE MOTTE 1SSW (JASPER)........................9.5
  (W9MAL)MERRILLVILLE 2NNW (LAKE)...............8.5
  REMINGTON (JASPER)............................8.1
  PORTAGE 1ESE (PORTER).........................8.0
  CHESTERTON 4E (PORTER)........................8.0
  LAKE VILLAGE 7SE (NEWTON).....................8.0
  RENSSELAER (JASPER)...........................8.0

 
 
Additional Snowfall Amounts
PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL
745 PM CST THU FEB 25 2016

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

0900 AM     SNOW             VALPARAISO              41.48N 87.05W
02/25/2016  M11.7 INCH       PORTER             IN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            VALPARAISO UNIVERSITY.

0900 AM     SNOW             CEDAR LAKE              41.37N 87.44W
02/25/2016  E17.6 INCH       LAKE               IN   PUBLIC

0900 AM     SNOW             LOWELL                  41.29N 87.41W
02/25/2016  M16.0 INCH       LAKE               IN   PUBLIC

1159 PM     SNOW             3 SW MIDWAY AIRPORT     41.75N 87.79W
02/24/2016  M1.9 INCH        COOK               IL   CO-OP OBSERVER

            STORM TODAY. 0.26 LIQUID EQUIV AND 2 INCHES ON THE GROUND


1145 PM     SNOW             GRIFFITH                41.52N 87.42W
02/24/2016  M11.0 INCH       LAKE               IN   PUBLIC

1040 PM     HEAVY SNOW       LANSING                 41.57N 87.55W
02/24/2016  M7.0 INCH        COOK               IL   CO-OP OBSERVER

            UPDATED REPORT RELAYED VIA TWITTER.

1000 PM     HEAVY SNOW       MUNSTER                 41.55N 87.50W
02/24/2016  M8.7 INCH        LAKE               IN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            VIA TWITTER.

0930 PM     HEAVY SNOW       CROWN POINT             41.42N 87.36W
02/24/2016  M14.5 INCH       LAKE               IN   PUBLIC

0925 PM     SNOW             1 SSW OAK LAWN          41.70N 87.76W
02/24/2016  M1.4 INCH        COOK               IL   COCORAHS

            WATER EQUIVALENT OF 0.26 INCHES.

0900 PM     HEAVY SNOW       ST. JOHN                41.45N 87.48W
02/24/2016  E14.0 INCH       LAKE               IN   PUBLIC

            VIA FACEBOOK.

0900 PM     BLIZZARD         VALPARAISO              41.48N 87.05W
02/24/2016                   PORTER             IN   EMERGENCY MNGR

            BLIZZARD CONDITIONS INFERRED BASED ON IMPACTS OF HEAVY
            SNOW AND CONCURRENT BLOWING SNOW WITH NEAR ZERO
            VISIBILITY REPORTED. STATE OF EMERGENCY HAD BEEN DECLARED
            FOR PORTER COUNTY. NUMEROUS MOTORISTS WERE STRANDED AND
            NEEDED RESCUE.

0845 PM     HEAVY SNOW       SCHERERVILLE            41.49N 87.45W
02/24/2016  M11.2 INCH       LAKE               IN   TRAINED SPOTTER

            2 MILES SOUTHEAST OF US-41. LIGHT SNOW CONTINUES. REPORT
            RELAYED VIA FACEBOOK.

0843 PM     HEAVY SNOW       DYER                    41.50N 87.51W
02/24/2016  M9.8 INCH        LAKE               IN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0843 PM     HEAVY SNOW       SCHERERVILLE            41.49N 87.45W
02/24/2016  M10.0 INCH       LAKE               IN   TRAINED SPOTTER

0815 PM     HEAVY SNOW       HOBART                  41.53N 87.27W
02/24/2016  M11.5 INCH       LAKE               IN   PUBLIC

            VIA FACEBOOK

0810 PM     HEAVY SNOW       VALPARAISO              41.48N 87.05W
02/24/2016  M11.0 INCH       PORTER             IN   BROADCAST MEDIA

            STORM TOTAL SO FAR NEAR VALPARAISO UNIVERSITY.
            BLIZZARD/NEAR BLIZZARD CONDITIONS CONTINUE WITH
            VISIBILITY BETWEEN 1/4 MILE AND NEAR ZERO. SNOW DRIFTS
            AROUND 2 FEET.

0800 PM     BLIZZARD         RENSSELAER              40.94N 87.15W
02/24/2016                   JASPER             IN   911 CALL CENTER

            NEAR ZERO VISIBILITY WITH MANY MOTORISTS STRANDED DURING
            THE AFTERNOON INTO THE EARLY EVENING.

0800 PM     BLIZZARD         MOUNT AYR               40.95N 87.30W
02/24/2016                   NEWTON             IN   EMERGENCY MNGR

            BLIZZARD CONDITIONS INFERRED BASED ON IMPACTS OF HEAVY
            SNOW AND CONCURRENT BLOWING SNOW WITH NEAR ZERO
            VISIBILITY REPORTED. STATE OF EMERGENCY HAD BEEN DECLARED
            FOR NEWTON COUNTY. NUMEROUS MOTORISTS WERE STRANDED AND
            NEEDED RESCUE. MANY POWER OUTAGES.

0800 PM     BLIZZARD         CROWN POINT             41.42N 87.36W
02/24/2016                   LAKE               IN   EMERGENCY MNGR

            BLIZZARD CONDITIONS INFERRED BASED ON IMPACTS OF HEAVY
            SNOW AND CONCURRENT BLOWING SNOW WITH NEAR ZERO
            VISIBILITY REPORTED. STATE OF EMERGENCY WAS DECLARED FOR
            LAKE COUNTY. NUMEROUS MOTORISTS WERE STRANDED AND NEEDED
            RESUCE. MANY POWER OUTAGES.

0730 PM     HEAVY SNOW       PARK FOREST             41.48N 87.69W
02/24/2016  M7.0 INCH        COOK               IL   PUBLIC

            RELAYED VIA FACEBOOK.

0720 PM     BLIZZARD         FOWLER                  40.62N 87.32W
02/24/2016                   BENTON             IN   911 CALL CENTER

            MOST COUNTY ROADS IMPASSABLE DUE TO SNOW AND NOW MORE SO
            BLOWING SNOW. MULTIPLE VEHICLES STUCK OR STRANDED FROM
            LATE AFTERNOON INTO EVENING...INCLUDING EVEN SOME TOWS.

0703 PM     HEAVY SNOW       PEOTONE                 41.33N 87.80W
02/24/2016  M6.2 INCH        WILL               IL   COCORAHS

            0.63 WATER.

0604 PM     SNOW             PAXTON                  40.46N 88.10W
02/24/2016  E2.0 INCH        FORD               IL   911 CALL CENTER

            ESTIMATED STORM TOTAL SNOW THUS FAR.

0557 PM     SNOW             ROMEOVILLE              41.65N 88.09W
02/24/2016  M0.2 INCH        WILL               IL   OFFICIAL NWS OBS

            STORM TOTAL THUS FAR.

0555 PM     SNOW             OHARE AIRPORT           41.98N 87.90W
02/24/2016  M1.7 INCH        COOK               IL   OFFICIAL NWS OBS

            STORM TOTAL THUS FAR.

0515 PM     SNOW             2 WSW ELK GROVE VILLAGE 41.99N 88.03W
02/24/2016  M1.2 INCH        COOK               IL   COCORAHS

0440 PM     BLIZZARD         MOMENCE                 41.16N 87.66W
02/24/2016                   KANKAKEE           IL   EMERGENCY MNGR

            SUSTAINED WHITE OUT CONDITIONS ACROSS THE EASTERN HALF OF
            THE COUNTY THROUGHOUT THE AFTERNOON. DOZENS OF CARS IN
            DITCHES OR STUCK.

0415 PM     SNOW             ESE HOMEWOOD            41.56N 87.66W
02/24/2016  M4.5 INCH        COOK               IL   COCORAHS

0400 PM     HEAVY SNOW       EARL PARK               40.69N 87.42W
02/24/2016  E11.0 INCH       BENTON             IN   PUBLIC

            2 INCHES FELL BY 745 AM EST WHICH LARGELY MELTED AND THEN
            9 INCHES HAVE FALLEN SINCE THEN. RELAYED VIA FACEBOOK.

0400 PM     HEAVY SNOW       BEECHER                 41.35N 87.61W
02/24/2016  E7.0 INCH        WILL               IL   PUBLIC

            6.5 TO 7 INCHES. RELAYED VIA FACEBOOK.

0345 PM     NON-TSTM WND GST GARY                    41.60N 87.34W
02/24/2016  M62.00 MPH       LAKE               IN   AWOS

            54 KT GUST AT GARY AIRPORT.


&&

$$

MTF
 
 
Highest Winds
 
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO IL
1117 PM CST WED FEB 24 2016

...MAXIMUM WIND REPORTS ON WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 24TH...

LOCATION                     SPEED     TIME/DATE       PROVIDER
GARY AIRPORT                 62 MPH    0345 PM 02/24   AWOS
MICHIGAN CITY C-MAN          60 MPH    0654 PM 02/24   MARITIME
CHICAGO HARRISON-DEVER CRIB  58 MPH    0408 PM 02/24   MARITIME
2 N SHOREWOOD                56 MPH    0835 AM 02/24   CWOP
PAXTON                       56 MPH    0240 PM 02/24   ILDOT
1 SW DOUGLAS PARK            53 MPH    0524 PM 02/24   ILDOT
BURNS HARBOR                 52 MPH    0350 PM 02/24   NWS-GLOS
CALUMET HARBOR               52 MPH    0530 PM 02/24   NWLON
2 SW VALPARAISO              49 MPH    0259 PM 02/24   CWOP
CHICAGO MIDWAY               49 MPH    0447 PM 02/24   ASOS
VALPARAISO AIRPORT           47 MPH    0237 PM 02/24   ASOS
1 W PONTIAC                  46 MPH    0440 PM 02/24   ILDOT
1 WSW EAST CHICAGO           46 MPH    0455 PM 02/24   URBANET
2 NE PALATINE                45 MPH    1010 AM 02/24   ILDOT
LEWIS AIRPORT, ROMEOVILLE    45 MPH    0555 AM 02/24   AWOS
2 W MONTROSE HARBOR          44 MPH    0519 PM 02/24   URBANET
DUPAGE AIRPORT               44 MPH    0846 AM 02/24   ASOS
1 WNW FAIRMONT               44 MPH    0800 AM 02/24   USARMY-COE
CHICAGO O`HARE               44 MPH    1120 AM 02/24   ASOS
SUGAR GROVE - AURORA AIRPORT 43 MPH    0908 AM 02/24   ASOS
PEOTONE                      43 MPH    0451 PM 02/24   CWOP
3 SSW MINOOKA                43 MPH    0800 AM 02/24   USARMY-COE
1 ESE HIGHLAND PARK          43 MPH    0425 PM 02/24   UPR
2 ESE LOCKPORT               42 MPH    0907 AM 02/24   CWOP
GRAND RIDGE                  42 MPH    1134 AM 02/24   CWOP
1 E SYCAMORE                 42 MPH    0840 AM 02/24   ILDOT
2 E HARWOOD HEIGHTS          42 MPH    0410 PM 02/24   UPR
1 SSE DOUGLAS PARK           41 MPH    0405 PM 02/24   URBANET
BROOKFIELD                   41 MPH    0822 AM 02/24   CWOP
1 W CHICAGO                  41 MPH    0304 PM 02/24   CWOP
2 SSE STEWARD                41 MPH    0855 AM 02/24   ILDOT
1 SSW OTTAWA                 41 MPH    1100 AM 02/24   USARMY-COE
DE KALB AIRPORT              40 MPH    0955 AM 02/24   AWOS
1 SE LAKE BLUFF              40 MPH    0127 PM 02/24   CWOP
1 NNE CRYSTAL LAKE           40 MPH    1014 AM 02/24   CWOP
2 NW BOLINGBROOK             40 MPH    0845 AM 02/24   CWOP
LANSING AIRPORT              40 MPH    0615 PM 02/24   AWOS
PONTIAC AIRPORT              40 MPH    0755 AM 02/24   AWOS
WAUKEGAN AIRPORT             40 MPH    1013 AM 02/24   ASOS

OBSERVATIONS ARE COLLECTED FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES WITH VARYING
EQUIPMENT AND EXPOSURE. NOT ALL DATA LISTED ARE CONSIDERED OFFICIAL.

 

 
Meteorology
 
Radar Loop from 3 a.m. Wednesday through 12 a.m. Thursday
Radar Loop
This loop shows how persistent the strong radar echoes were across northwest Indiana for a several hour period on Wednesday, from early morning well into the evening.


 

Regional Radar Loop and 700mb Frontogenesis
from 330 AM CST Wednesday through 1130 PM CST Wednesday
Radar Loop
A regional view of the radar evolution for a similar time period on Wednesday shows how this event evolved around a deepening low pressure center.  This analysis shows what the low pressure system looked like approximately 9000' above the surface, which was an area of the atmosphere where there was strong support for snow production during this event.  The purple contours on the north and west side of the low center align along the west edge of the persistent radar echoes.  This is not surprising considering these purple contours show where forcing for upward motion and snowfall development was strongest at this level of the atmosphere.  Within the axis of strongest forcing, the upward motion will be most favored toward the warmer side, which in this case was the eastern side of the contours.


 

Water Vapor Satellite Loop
from 615 PM CST Monday 2/22 through 945 AM CST Thursday 2/25
WV Satellite Loop
Here is an even wider view showing a multi-day evolution of this strong low pressure system across the eastern United States from the perspective of the GOES-East Satellite Water Vapor channel. In addition to bringing heavy snowfall and dangerous blizzard conditions to the Great Lakes, this very large storm system also was responsible for a significant severe weather outbreak on Tuesday along the Gulf Coast and on Wednesday along the Atlantic Coast.

 

 

Weather Balloon Data Courtesy of Valparaiso University.  Taken at 11:42 a.m. on Feb 24
Valparaiso University Sounding
This helpful sounding was taken by the meteorology department at Valparaiso University as the heavy snow was beginning.  Note the strong northeast winds in the low-levels that would make their way down to the surface in gusts through much of the event.  In addition, the saturated profile in the low-levels has a fairly large depth within the temperature range of 0°C to -5°C, ideal for snow growth by aggregation, where wet snow flakes of varying sizes "clump" together.