Sunday, December 27, 2015

6pm Winter Storm Update

We are at the dinner hour in the Central time zone when people are making decisions for the next day. So, here is my final winter storm update for the evening.

Interstate 40 is now closed from Albuquerque to Texola, in western Oklahoma, a distance of 400 miles due to the blizzard and the ice. Via Facebook, this is what it was like to live in the blizzard area. Gov. Martinez has declared a State of Emergency in New Mexico.

The last I heard I-70 is closed just west of St. Louis and I-49 is closed in southwest Missouri due to flooding. Addition 6:15pm, Gov. Nixon has declared a State of Emergency in all of Missouri. Another 2-4 inches of rain will fall from now to 4pm tomorrow from southwest Missouri to southeast Oklahoma.

There are tornadoes in progress as I type this, please scroll down for the current tornado watch. I am not live-blogging those storms.

Forecast radar for 10pm. Blue is snow and purple is freezing rain or sleet.

Here is the forecast radar for 7am Monday.

Here is the forecast snow from now until 7am (more snow will fall after that time). There will considerable blowing and drifting of the snow.
The light blue is 2 inches. The break at dark violet is 7 inches. The area in the southeast Texas Panhandle is forecast to receive nearly a foot.

There are already 52,000 homes and businesses without power in Oklahoma due to the ice storm. Addition 6:12pm: 1,500 homes around Rose Hill, Kansas, are now without power. Rose Hill is about 25 mi. ESE of Wichita in the pink area below. 

The amounts of ice being forecast vary widely this evening. I lean toward the low side of the forecasts.
However, the already gusty winds in Kansas and Missouri will increase a bit during the night. So, because of uneven ice loading on power lines there is still the potential for power failures. This is reflected in the Sperry-Piltz power failure index which reflects temperatures, amount of ice and winds.
You can see on the forecast for additional freezing rain accumulation that the greatest amounts are from the southern Flint Hills in Kansas (east of Wichita) into north central Oklahoma. This is reflected in the Index by the red areas which have a chance for scattered additional power failures. There is a lesser, but certainly not zero, chance in the orange and yellow areas.

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