The image below may not look like much, but to a Meteorologist this said it all in regards to the energy coming into the Northwest to fuel “Fall Fury”.
The circled area over southern Oregon, near Medford, indicates wind speeds at the level of the jet stream of near 354 km/h on Monday morning.
It’s this fist of jet stream energy which helped to crank up an intense low-pressure system over the Midwest on Tuesday.
From extreme low pressure to severe storms, high winds and snow, this storm had it all.
Pressure: How low can you go?
The surface map above from around 4 pm on Tuesday shows low pressure over northern Minnesota with many lines surrounding it known as isobars. Without getting into too much detail, these are constant lines of atmospheric pressure.
A large number of isobars, as pictured above, indicate an intense low helping to fuel high winds hundreds of miles away from the center.
In Big Fork, Minnesota, the pressure dropped to an incredible 955.2 hPa or 28.21 inches. For perspective, a healthy low-pressure system in the winter may be in upper 970hPa to 990 hPa range.
According to the National Weather Service, if this pressure is verified it would go down as the lowest ever recorded on the mainland U.S. from a non-tropical storm.