Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Morning Winter Storm Update

As promised, here is the latest information on the looming winter storm in the Central U.S.

Amounts of moisture in the drought areas will be helpful. Father east, where the ground is saturated, amounts will be lighter. Everybody wins!
click to enlarge this and the other graphics in this posting

There is also the likelihood of thunderstorms in the south central U.S. with severe thunderstorms (large hail, damaging winds) and, maybe, a tornado or two in southeast Texas between 6am Monday and 6am Tuesday.

The above forecasts are reasonably straightforward.

Winter Storm
Here is a map of current watches and warnings from the National Weather Service. Pink is a winter storm warning, meaning the winter storm is likely.  Light green are blizzard warnings watches while the blue are winter storm warnings watches. A watch means the there is an elevated chance of a winter storm and preliminary preparations should be made. Purple counties are winter weather advisories, meaning that accumulating snow will occur of an inconvenience nature.

The blizzard watch is to be taken very seriously. Here are two multi-model graphics pertaining to Dodge City and Garden City, Kansas (click to enlarge). While the most likely amounts are 13-14", a foot and a half, or more, is not out of the question along with high winds. As I said yesterday afternoon, this region will get nailed -- roads will be impassible. Once advantage of these graphs is you can see when the snow begins and compare depths to times for planning purposes.
Courtesy: Mike Umschied
What about the rest of the region?

Some of the models want to move the band of heaviest snow slightly farther north in central Kansas. Two postings below you can see how that can make a huge difference in amounts at a give location. However, the statistical model, keeps the heaviest snows farther south. So, let me present the statistical graphs: You can pick your location and determine your chances. Maps valid 6am Monday to 6am Wednesday.

Probability of two inches or more:

Probability of six inches or more:

Probability of eight inches or more:

I'm avoiding posting a specific amount map because, for now, the statistical approach is the better way to go.

I expect winter storm warnings to be issued into Kansas this afternoon and I'll plan on posting my forecast that maps exact snow amounts this evening. And, I expect to lose more hair over this.

Throughout the day, AccuWeather will be providing updates. You might want to check there from time to time.

I hope this coverage is helpful. If you live in the areas where 8" or more of snow is forecast, I urge you to take this storm seriously and prepare accordingly.


  1. Great report as usual Mike, however you need to change 2 things. The light green is a Blizzard Watch and the blue is a Winter Storm Watch. Just an FYI.

  2. I've decided to route myself from St Louis to Austin on Monday through little Rock vice Joplin/Big Cabin. Reduces the time in precip and the chance the storm slips a little more south of projected path. Timing is also a factor on these storms as they roll out of the mountains. Two years at McConnell AFB in the 60s made me wary of these things but on the other hand it's nice to see a classic system in our part of the country again!

    Geo. Frederick.


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