GOES-10 Science Test
Weather Synopsis - 31 March/12UTC - 01 April/12UTC 1998

Synoptic Situation:

The dominant upper level features this period were strong closed lows over the central Plains and near the California coast. Strong wind fields aloft (90-100 knots) were associated with a split polar jet over the mid-Mississippi Valley and Great Lakes regions. Unseasonably cold air in the mid-levels (-25 to -30 C) accompanied the West Coast low.

At the surface, an occluding low moved across Iowa into Wisconsin. An associated cold front stretched southward across the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys into the Gulf Coast region, while a stationary front was located across the Great Lakes into northern Maine. As the cold front began to accelerate eastward, a strong northward flow of Gulf moisture was aided by a low level jet (50-60 knots) ahead of the system.

Weather Conditions:

Within the warm sector ahead of the cold front, a broad area of 0.50-1.00 inch rains fell between the Mississippi River and the Appalachians, and from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes. Strong convection produced some small hail and wind damage across parts of Iowa, Missouri, Mississippi and Georgia. Some light rain and snow fell over parts of northern New England.

One last day of record high maximum temperatures was found across the East -- highs included 89 F at Boston and Bedford, Massachusetts, and New York City (89 F) and Portland, Maine (88 F) tied their record high for the month of March. Union Village, Vermont set a new state record for March with 88 F.

Behind the cold front, a swath of 1-5 inches of snow fell across parts of Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota -- some areas within this region reported accumulations as high as 6-16 inches, due to convectively-enhanced snow ahead of a vorticity lobe/comma head feature moving across Nebraska and South Dakota. The 8.7 inches of snow at Sioux Falls, South Dakota set a new snowfall record for the date.

In the West, rain and some thunderstorms were found across parts of California and Nevada, with some snow in the Sierras. Snow also fell across parts of the Utah and Colorado mountains.