Behold one of the most beautiful satellite views of a mid-latitude cyclone you will ever see, courtesy NASA (taken Monday).
This is the last stage in the life of a mature cyclone/storm. In our part of the world, cold air eventually wins out and wraps completely around a storm. This is called a ‘cold core’ storm and has cut itself off from the main flow of the jet stream. That is why it is wandering-almost stalled near Chicago.
The water vapor image above is a close-up of the same storm (also from yesterday), and wonderfully shows off its structure. But - at the same time - the cold, dry air (in yellow) so prominently wrapping into the storm in this image forbodes its demise.
And indeed, the satellite imagery this morning shows a cyclone a shell of its previous self. The supply of warm moist air which had fed the storm has largely cutoff. And the system will continue to decay over the next couple of days before it gets absorbed by the jet stream and spirited away.
For all of us, from the Upper Midwest to the East Coast, cast under the cloudy, damp grip of this lumbering, sprawling cyclone, I’m sure few tears will be shed once it’s gone.