Thursday, December 1, 2011

Update on Impending Winter Storm...

In a post earlier today I mentioned the threat of freezing rain/icing conditions across portions of eastern New Mexico, the Texas/Oklahoma panhandles and southwest Kansas on Friday  night and early Saturday.  Freezing Rain Advisories, Winter Storm Watches and/or Warnings have since been issued for these and adjacent areas, as shown on the image above.  I would expect winter weather watches/warnings/advisories to be expanded Northeastward across additional portions of Nebraska and Iowa on Friday, valid for the upcoming weekend snow event.

There has not been a significant change in the forecast trends since my last update.  The latest SREF model forecast ice accumulation valid 6am CST Saturday is shown below:

The darker green shaded area on the image represents the model's forecast of one-tenth to one-quarter of an inch of ice accumulation on Friday night.  This will lead to very hazardous travel conditions, as well as the possibility of downed tree limbs and power lines across the indicated area.  Strong and gusty winds will further aggravate the tree and power line threat.

Meanwhile, on the snowy side of the system, the latest GFS computer model forecast for accumulated snowfall through 6am CST on Sunday is shown below:

As you can see, widespread 6-8 inch (with locally higher) snowfall amounts continue to be indicated from portions of northwest and northcentral Kansas into southeast Nebraska, as well as portions of the northwestern half of Iowa.  Strong and gusty North-Northeast winds will produce widespread blowing and drifting snow in many areas across this region.  Travel and other outdoor activities are highly discouraged.

Folks living across the winter storm forecast areas should listen for the latest updated forecasts and warnings for this weekend.  Stock up on needed supplies now and be prepared to hunker down this weekend if dangerous winter weather conditions affect your area.

On the rainy side of the storm, widespread locally heavy rainfall is forecast from northeast Texas across the middle Mississippi and Tennessee Valley region Friday through Monday.  The cumulative rainfall forecast from the GFS computer model is shown below, valid for the period Friday through 1pm CST Monday:

The threat of heavy rainfall will spread up into the remainder of the Tennessee and Ohio Valley region through the middle of next week.

In the wake of the cold front accompanying this system, cold air will dominate much of the nation over the next week to 10 days.  The latest GFS 8-day temperature anomaly forecast is shown below:

This next image from the same model shows its forecast of the lowest temperatures that will occur across the nation over the next 5 days.  Single digits are indicated in the purple shaded areas across much of the northcentral and portions of the central Plains, with readings forecast to approach zero in the darker purple shaded areas from northwest Kansas into portions of Iowa and Wisconsin:

Stay tuned for updates as this situation continues to unfold...

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