Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Is Becoming White In Oklahoma / NW Texas...

As you can see on the composite radar image above, snow is falling across much of the western half of Oklahoma and into adjacent portions of the Texas / Oklahoma panhandle at midday this Christmas Day.  The darker purple shaded areas indicate moderate to heavy snow, which combined with increasing winds is producing white-out conditions in some areas.

The orange and pink colored precipitation over southcentral Oklahoma is a mixture of freezing rain, sleet and snow.  This mixture is making for increasingly hazardous travel conditions along I-35 in southcentral Oklahoma.

Snow will continue to develop and increase during the day today, while gradually spreading Eastward across Oklahoma and eventually into Arkansas and southern Missouri.

By 6pm CST today, significant amounts of snow will have accumulated across much of western and southern Oklahoma, with snow continuing to spread Eastward into eastern Oklahoma, Arkansas and far northern Texas.  The high resolution NAM computer model forecast for snow depth at 6pm CST is shown below:

While I agree that snowfall amounts will be generally lighter across northeastern Oklahoma as compared to adjacent areas to the South, I do not agree with the complete lack of snowfall that is portrayed by the model image above.  Most amounts in this region, including the Tulsa area, will average 1-3 inches (heavier in the South and lighter in the North), depending on the exact track of the surface low pressure center later today.

An all out blizzard is likely to form later this evening and tonight across northcentral and northeastern Arkansas, into extreme southeast Missouri and southern Illinois.  The NAM forecast snowfall amounts by 6am CST tomorrow morning reflect that expectation quite well:

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Blizzard Warning from northeast Arkansas into southern Illinois and southwest Kentucky, as shown in orange on the image below.  The areas shaded in pink are under a Winter Storm Warning, with Winter Weather Advisories (for lesser snow amounts) in the lighter purple shaded areas:

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