Jeff Masters, posted two hours ago (2:37 GMT):
The Great Blizzard of February 1 – 2, 2011 is here. Oklahoma City is experiencing whiteout conditions, with heavy snow of 2 inches per hour being driven by ferocious winds of 36 mph, gusting to 46 mph. With a temperature of just 9°F, this is an extremely dangerous storm for the city, and all of Oklahoma has been placed under a state of emergency. Seven inches of snow had fallen in Oklahoma City as of 7am EST. Dangerous blizzard conditions extend from Oklahoma, through northwest Arkansas, southeast Kansas, and southern Missouri this morning, and blizzard conditions are expected to spread northeastward into eastern Iowa, southern Wisconsin, most of Illinois, southern Michigan, northern Indians, and northwest Ohio later today.
Cold air is being driven southwards out of Canada by a high pressure system over Montana that is at near-record strength. Pressures at Glasgow, Montana this morning were 1054 mb, close to the all-time U.S. high pressure record of 1064 mb set in Montana in 1983.
Here for an excellent interactive map:
Update: An image from NASA:
The image, taken by NASA’s GOES-13 satellite, shows the low-pressure system hitting the Midwest todya, with heavy snow in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, but also pounding the Big Sky region, from Montana all the way down to Arizona. That’s all moving east as well, into the Tennessee valley and soon up the coast to the Northeast. All in all, about a third of the continental U.S. is going to get absolutely pounded, so it’s as good a time as any to start investing in snow-pooping robots.