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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published February 13 2013

Weather Talk: Sunday’s storm brought little temperature change

Following the Sunday blizzard, many people were surprised that the weather did not turn cold right after the storm. Strong wind blowing out of the north from noon Sunday well into Monday morning did not bring down any Arctic air because the air north of us was not of Arctic origin and was not very cold.

Strong storms often bring very cold weather in their wake, but it does not have to be this way. The proverbial clash of warm and cold air is overrated as a mechanism to stormy weather. Precipitation is a result of moisture condensing due to air rising in the atmosphere. In some cases, warm air moving up and over denser cold air is a good way to make rain or snow. But the storm we had Sunday and Sunday night had very little temperature change in or around it. The rising air was due to strong jet stream level wind curving to the north as it moved up and over the Rocky Mountains. The meteorological term for this is lee-side cyclogenesis.

By the way, the cold air blowing in today is unrelated to Sunday’s blizzard.

Have a weather question you’d like answered? Email weather@wday.com, or write to WDAY Stormtracker, WDAY-TV, Box 2466, Fargo, ND 58108

Read the blog at http://stormtrack.areavoices.com/.