WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A very strong area of low pressure over the upper Midwest with a strong cold front draped across the eastern U.S. has brought weather havoc across much of the central and eastern U.S. over the last two days. Already this storm will go into the history books as the strongest or deepest non-tropical low in U.S. history. Yesterday in International Falls, MN the pressure reading was 956 millibars or 28.22" inches of mercury! The old record was 958 millibars near Cleveland, OH during the great Ohio storm of January 26, 1978.
Severe weather was the big story with this storm with at least 24 reported tornadoes yesterday nationwide. At one point yesterday more than a dozen states were under tornado watches from the Midwest into the southeast U.S. This storm has and will continue to cause many airport delays and cancellations.
On the cold side of the storm blizzard conditions were reported in North Dakota. Sustained winds of over 40 miles per hour were common in the Midwest and over the Great Lakes. Nine foot waves were reported on Lake Superior. This storm was stronger than the famed storm that sunk the Edmund Fitzgerald back in 1975.
Locally ahead of the front strong southerly winds will bring record warmth to southeast North Carolina today. Late tonight and tomorrow we could see a round of strong to severe thunderstorms move through ahead of the strong cold front. Calm fall weather will return on Friday.