Friday, February 22, 2013

Early Week Winter Storm Risk: Central Plains

As with the Blizzard of Oz, the computer models are all over the place 2.5 days before the storm really gets going. So, we are going to turn to probabilities so you can do some early planning:

Here is the probability of 2" or more of snow from 6pm Saturday to 6pm Monday (note: it is likely that the eastern half of this region will have at least some snow after that time):

Here is the probability of 8 inches or more during that same period:

Regardless of ultimate amounts, this will almost certainly be a windier storm than the Blizzard of Oz. Winds over the central Plains should gust Monday in the 25 to 40 mph range which adds drifting to the equation.

So, I would suggest you spend part of the weekend preparing. I'll have additional updates.


  1. Yeah, that Mike Smith has been raining on people's parades for years. I remember working at KSN where he was the chief meteorologist, starting his own company there. He was very good at business too.

    Me a KSN reporter, and a feature photographer named Bruce Huss were chasing down on Rock Road, and Smith directed us RIGHT into the path of a tornado. Yes, I forgot that TORNADOS are on the BACK SIDE of most storms. I thought we'd missed it and we had to start chasing eastward after it at the next mile road. Wrong.

    I was driving a brand new 1980 Chevy Citation newscar and when the telephone pole on my left just laid down, I steered that car into a pretty deep ditch on the right.... the water was rushing in, my photog was really pissed as he was holding a $60k RCA news camera. We got out, it quit raining right away, and then the fire trucks came to rescue people right on the other side of our 2 lane road. We did get good pictures, all right, but it was scary as hell. We never did see the tornado in all the rain. I could barely see the road but the telephone pole falling down was very frightening and I just steered into the ditch to get away from whatever knocked it down. Who KNEW its was full of water!

    I remember every detail to this day. Thought for sure I was going to be fired for flooding a brand new newscar. I wasn't a hero by any means, but I suddenly had a rep among photographers not to let me drive while we chase storms.

    Mike Smith was very good at what he does, long before most weathermen had mastered the storm chasing craft. He probably didn't even remember that, or even know about it. KSN was a pretty slick, well oiled news operation back in those days. Lotsa talented people and Smith, with Greg Gamer and sportsguy Armstrong were among them. Dave Helling, who made his career better in KC was there too. And others. Those were the days, and Wichita was a perfect sized market to really do news there.

    But beware when Mike Smith sends you tornado chasing!

  2. Notice how the 8" probability model "hearts" east-central Missouri (though it no longer does in the updated model). That area got 7-10" in the last storm (one observer just south of Hannibal reported over 13"!) so I don't think they are going to "heart" this storm :-)



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