Monday, December 19, 2011

Winter Weather Update for Central & Southern Plains...

The above image shows the latest Winter Weather Warning products that are in effect across the region to be affected by a major winter storm over the next 24-36 hours.  The orange areas are Blizzard Warnings.  The Pink areas are Winter Storm Warnings.  The light purple shaded areas are Winter Weather Advisories.  Please check your local National Weather Service office's website for specific warning information pertaining to your area.

Not a lot has changed since my update yesterday evening.  The GFS model has been consistently forecasting a band of heavy snow in the same location for several days now, and the storm system is currently moving out as forecast by all of the models.  The latest run of the GFS model snow depth valid 1pm CST tomorrow, Tuesday, is shown below (scale in inches on the right): 

As you can see, a band of 9-12 inch snow is indicated from extreme southeastern Colorado into a large part of southwest Kansas.  The exact location of the maximum snowfall band could vary by 50 or so miles either direction, but this has been a consistent idea for several days now.  The maximum snowfall band will be surrounded by a larger area of 6-10 inch snow across much of southeast Colorado, northeast New Mexico, the northern Texas panhandle and the Oklahoma panhandle, and much of western and northcentral Kansas.

Rain is taking place at this time across much of the area, with a mix or changeover to snow taking place across northcentral New Mexico and southcentral Colorado at this time:

Based on current trends, the rain should begin to change to snow across southeast Colorado and northeast  New Mexico later this morning.  Rain will change to snow across southwest Kansas, the Oklahoma panhandle and northern Texas panhandle during the afternoon and become heavy region-wide later this evening and into tonight.

Travel is highly discouraged in the Blizzard and Winter Storm Warning areas, as strong, gusty winds will create widespread blowing and drifting snow, with near white-out conditions in many areas.

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