Sunday, February 12, 2012

Winter Weather Update for Tonight & Monday...

Light snow is falling across much of the Texas panhandle into west-central Texas at this hour, as well as adjacent portions of southeast New Mexico.  Snow is accumulating in the Lubbock and Amarillo areas, causing slick spots on bridges and overpasses.  General accumulation of around 1 inch, with locally higher amounts of 2-3 inches are expected across this region this evening.

Very light snow, mixed at times with freezing rain and/or sleet, is falling over parts of northwest Texas and the hill country (as noted by the pink and lavender shadings on the above radar mosaic).  Generally very light accumulations (less than 1 inch) are expected in this region.

This weather system will continue lifting Northeastward, and will spread a mixture of mostly light snow and sleet across a good chunk of the central and southern Plains overnight and into Monday.  As a result, a Winter Weather Advisory continues in effect across most of this region, as shown by the tan shaded areas on the image below:

The pink shaded area over west-central and northwest Arkansas corresponds with a Winter Storm Warning that has been issued for that area.  Snow accumulation of 2-3 inches, along with a chance for some mostly light icing due to freezing rain has prompted  the Winter Storm Warning status for that area.

Otherwise, across the large Winter Weather Advisory areas, from Oklahoma and Arkansas on Northward, widespread 1-2 inch snow and/or sleet accumulations can be expected, with locally heavier amounts of 3 inches possible.

Here is how the latest run of the SREF computer forecast model sees the snowfall tonight and Monday.  The scale in inches is toward the lower left corner of the image.  The darker blue shadings correspond with more than 1 inch but less than 2 inches of snow, with the lighter blue showing more than 2 inches but less than 3 inches of snow.

The first image is valid 12 Midnight tonight:

...then 6am CST on Monday morning:

...then at 12 Noon CST Monday:

...and finally at 3pm CST on Monday:

For locations that do not show up in or near one of the blue shaded areas on the above images, but are inside the Winter Weather Advisory area that I showed up toward the top of the post - you are likely to see less than 1 inch of accumulation the way it looks right now.

I mentioned freezing rain earlier as well.  Just to the South of the primary snow axis, there is the potential for some ice accumulation later tonight and into Monday.  The primary threat area for this activity will extend from southeast Oklahoma and/or extreme northeast Texas, into portions of western and central Arkansas.

The series of images below, also from the SREF model, show the current forecast ice accumulations across the region at the specified times.  The first image is valid 6am CST Monday:

...then 9am CST Monday:

...12 Noon CST Monday:

...3pm CST Monday:

...and 6pm CST Monday:

On the ice forecast images, the darker blue shading corresponds to up to 0.05 inch of ice, with the lighter blue showing the possibility of 0.10 inch of ice.  There are a few green splotches that show up toward the last image, which corresponds to the possibility of up to one-quarter of an inch of ice (hence the Winter Storm Warning across this region in northwest Arkansas).

As you can see, in general, this is going to be a "light" wintry precipitation event overall, but covering a very large geographic area.  If you have travel plans across this region tonight or Monday, please allow extra time to arrive safely at your destination, and check local forecasts before heading out.

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