Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Significant Winter Storm to Impact Central Plains / Midwest Wednesday Night thru Friday...

As advertised for the last several days, a major winter storm will be impacting a large part of the central Plains as well as portions of the Midwest from late Wednesday through at least early Friday.

While some disagreement remains among the various computer forecast models as to exactly where the heaviest snow will fall, there is little doubt that the area extending from Kansas and Nebraska, Eastward into Iowa and Missouri will have significant impacts from this storm.

A Winter Storm Watch has been posted for this region by the National Weather Service (NWS) as shown in blue on the image below:

There are still some issues to sort out, but right now the majority of the computer models call for the primary axis of heavy snow to extend from west-central Kansas to central and southern Missouri, as shown in purple and pink on the latest GFS computer model snowfall forecast below:

Within this region, local amounts of 10-12 inches or more of snow are possible.  Make no mistake, heavy snow will fall to the North of this axis as well, with amounts of 6-10 inches or more likely in many areas.

There will also be a threat of ice accumulation which may become significant on Wednesday night into Thursday, especially in an axis from far northeast Oklahoma, Eastward along the Arkansas/Missouri border and extending well into northern Arkansas.  This threat is shown in the lighter blue and pink shadings on the image below:

The threat of ice accumulation will spread East on Thursday night and Friday into the Ohio Valley, as shown on the same image above.

The combination of locally heavy snow, ice accumulation and strong, gusty winds will make for very hazardous travel conditions across the Winter Storm Watch area beginning Wednesday evening in the West and spreading East through Friday morning (and continuing beyond that period into the Ohio Valley Region).

If you live or have travel plans across the region, please complete your storm preparations today and plan on remaining indoors Wednesday night through Friday, as travel is likely to be difficult at best across the region.

Stay tuned for updates on this situation over the coming days...

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