The Washington Post

Huge Midwest storm fizzles before reaching D.C.

In case you missed our updated forecast, we expect little precipitation from the storm which crushed the Midwest with heavy snow.

The once proud storm was named the “Blizzard of Oz” by some given the prolific snows it produced in Kansas. Wichita, for example, received 14.2 inches, its second biggest snowstorm on record.

Radar imagery (left); satellite imagery (right) (National Weather Service)

But now, the Blizzard of Oz is spinning down as quickly as it spun up.

The comparison of radar and satellite imagery (above), separated by only 12 hours, pretty much tells the story. It’s sprawling swath of moderate to heavy precipitation has become less intense and disjointed, and the well-defined cloud swirl has become more diffuse.

The storm is dying for two main reasons. First, it’s running into dry air to the east (from cold high pressure nosing down the East Coast). Second, as its core is lifting north into the Great Lakes - the temperature contrast (clash of cold air from north and warm air from the south) energizing it is fading.

Model simulation of low pressure developing near Cape Hatteras Saturday midday. (

Winter storm watches have been posted around Worcester, Mass. and to the north for around 6 to 10 inches of snow.

I suppose this new storm should be called the “Son of Oz”.

Jason is the Washington Post’s weather editor and Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science, and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government. He holds the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.


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