Sunday, December 23, 2012

"Christmas Day Snowstorm" to Turn Toward the Northeast for Wednesday and Thursday...

Understandably, most of the focus for this next winter storm so far has been on those areas that will be affected on Christmas Day.  After all, who doesn't dream of the white stuff falling from the sky on the big day itself?

But, of course, the storm will continue on to the Northeast after it impacts the central and southern Plains.  The purpose of this post is to give a heads-up for those in the Midwest and Ohio Valley that will be impacted primarily on Wednesday and Thursday...

As noted in the detailed post for the southern and central Plains, the exact track of the surface low beyond Oklahoma remains somewhat unclear.  Most of the major computer models do turn the surface low more toward the East/Northeast and then Northeast on Christmas night and Wednesday.  The exact timing as to when this takes place will have a substantial impact on the locations that are most likely to receive accumulating snow on Wednesday and into Thursday.

The images below are from the latest run of the GFS computer model, which calls for accumulating snow to arc to the Northeast across far southern Illinois and then up into much of Indiana and western and northern Ohio during the day on Wednesday, and into northern Pennsylvania late Wednesday and into Thursday.

The sequence of snow depth forecast images below are valid 6am CST on Wednesday, 12 Noon CST on Wednesday and 6pm CST on Wednesday, respectively:

We'll know more as the exact track of the surface low becomes apparent on Christmas Day, but at least this gives you an idea as to where the most favored areas for accumulating snow appear to be stacking up so far.

Also a word of note / caution in that this won't be the only storm system to affect the Midwest and Ohio Valley region in the near future.  Another system will be on this one's heels by next weekend, and the overall weather pattern favors numerous chances of snow through the month of January - at least - so stay tuned!

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