Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Update On Winter Storm

This update will primarly focus on Oklahoma/Missouri and adjacent areas.  The above image was taken from the Tulsa area (Inola, OK) doppler radar a short time ago.  Heavy snow has been ongoing for several hours now across central and eastern Oklahoma. 

As of 7am CST, 7-9 inches of snow have fallen across the Tulsa area.  A band of widespread 3-5 inch totals have been reported from near Ponca City, east/northeast along the Kansas/Oklahoma border, to just Northwest of Springfield, MO.

Freezing rain and sleet continue to fall in a pocket from near Springfield into the northwest corner of Arkansas.  One quarter to one half inch of glazed ice has been reported just southeast of Springfield, MO (Webster County) during the past hour.  This precpitation is expected to quickly transition to snow by mid-morning, as bitterly cold, arctic air continues to spill southward into the region.

Moving through the rest of the day, a widespread area from northeast Oklahoma, through Missouri and into central & northern Illinois is expected to see a foot or more of snow:

Probability of 12 Inches or more of Snow Today

This heavier snow band will be surrounded by an even larger swath of 8-12 inch snowfall totals:

Probability of 8 Inches or more of Snow Today 

Cold air has been rushing into this system a bit faster than computer models had been forecasting the past few days, which thus far has limited significant icing across the Plains.  Below is the area where one-quarter inch or more of ice is still possible before precipitation transitions to snow later today.  The red outlined areas are more vulnerable for a longer-term period of freezing rain, which will cause significant travel problems, and possibly even power outages: 

Probability of One-Quarter Inch or more of Ice

Winter Storm (pink shaded areas) and Blizzard warnings (orange shaded areas) continue across a large part the country today into Wednesday (eastern areas).  Residents of these areas are strongly encouraged to avoid travel and stay indoors until this dangerous weather situation passes...

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