Friday, February 22, 2019

Tornado and Blizzard Update

Great Plains - Midwest Blizzard

There will be a blizzard in the central U.S. this weekend. The track of the heaviest snow will be on the northern side of the area outlined yesterday. This means Omaha, Lincoln and Ames will be significantly affected.

I'll simply present the two best models as their tracks are identical. I have cross-verified this forecast by using some techniques that are independent of the models and am confident in the overall pattern of snowfall.

I believe the maximum snowfall in this storm will be about 13" with broad averages of 5-8 inches. However, winds will gust to 55-60 mph in southwest Kansas and up to 40 mph in northeast Kansas and southwest Iowa. This will cause serious drifting of the snow. I expect I-70, I-80, and I-29 will be closed by this storm.

Two important considerations:
  • Power failures are possible due to the wind and the potential for snow to stick wires.
  • Life-threatening travel conditions. One word: don't. 
Here is a snapshot forecast of the storm as of noon tomorrow. The blue is heavy snow.

Tornado Risk

The NWS SPC has narrowed the area most at risk of tornadoes. 
While there is a possibility of tornadoes and damaging thunderstorm winds throughout the yellow area, the red, hatched area is at the higher risk. This includes Memphis, Vicksburg, and Columbus. It is important to monitor the weather because the thunderstorms will be moving very rapidly so there may be less advance notice than normally possible. 

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