All Weather News

Blizzard, Tornadoes, Flooding Oh My!

Winter Weather Warnings This Morning
Our discussions over the last week for the developing low we have christened “Bubba” are coming together this morning. Blizzard watches were issued yesterday afternoon, and Blizzard Warnings were released early this morning for eastern Colorado and western Kansas, while blizzard watches are still active for the western Texas Panhandle, and a teenie slice of central Kansas. Click the image at left, or here to see the current state of advisories in our Advisory Center.

Very impressive snow totals will accompany Blizzard Bubba as he builds in Colorado and Kansas, with snows forecast to continue along the track we discussed yesterday, and will update again tomorrow morning. The city that will likely garner the most attention in the national media is of course Denver, Colorado, where one of the lowest snow totals for the season on record of 18.8″ will change dramatically as the storm moves through.

The blizzard warning for Denver is below for your convenience:



BLIZZARD WARNING
Issue Date: 257 AM MDT THU MAR 26 2009
Expiration: 600 AM MDT FRI MAR 27 2009

MAJOR WINTER STORM MOVING INTO NORTH CENTRAL AND NORTHEAST COLORADO…

A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL STRENGTHEN AS IT MOVES FROM WESTERN WYOMING TO NORTHERN NEW MEXICO BY TONIGHT. SNOW WILL SPREAD FROM THE MOUNTAINS ACROSS THE PLAINS OF NORTHEASTERN COLORADO THIS MORNING AS THE LOW APPROACHES AND A COLD FRONT WILL BRING COLDER AIR AND GUSTY NORTH WINDS AS WELL. BY MIDDAY MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOW WILL BE WIDESPREAD ALONG WITH WINDS GUSTING AS HIGH AS 45 MPH. THIS WILL CREATE BLIZZARD CONDITIONS ON THE PLAINS AS WELL AS WIND PRONE AREAS IN THE FOOTHILLS.

CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO BE WORST THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING WHEN BOTH THE WINDS AND SNOWFALL WILL PEAK. CONDITIONS WILL IMPROVE THIS EVENING IN THE NORTHERN PART OF THE AREA BUT BLIZZARD CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO PERSIST IN AREAS SOUTH OF INTERSTATE 70 MUCH OF THE NIGHT. SNOWFALL TOTALS BY FRIDAY MORNING WILL RANGE FROM AROUND 6 INCHES IN THE NORTHEAST CORNER OF THE STATE TO BETWEEN 8 AND 16 INCHES IN THE DENVER METRO AREA WITH UP TO TWO FEET OF SNOW IN AREAS SOUTH AND WEST OF DENVER. THE SNOWFALL COMBINED WITH PROLONGED WINDS WILL CREATE SIGNIFICANT DRIFTING OF SNOW ON THE PLAINS.

RESIDENTS OF NORTH CENTRAL AND NORTHEASTERN COLORADO SHOULD MAKE NECESSARY PREPARATIONS FOR THIS STORM EARLY THIS MORNING. IF TRAVEL CANNOT BE COMPLETED EARLY THIS MORNING CONSIDER WAITING UNTIL CONDITIONS IMPROVE ON FRIDAY. ROAD CLOSURES ARE LIKELY LATER TODAY AND TRAVEL WILL BE HAZARDOUS WHERE IT IS STILL POSSIBLE.


Thunderstorms and Tornadoes
Yesterday we mentioned that severe weather would occur for at least the next few days in the southeast, and today we can extend that for another day. We also mentioned the possibility that the SPC might extend their convective outlook to a moderate risk instead of slight risk, but that did not occur. However, at least 8 tornadoes have been reported so far, and in the city of Magee, MS various AP reports state that at least 60 houses were damaged and one church destroyed. A good reference article on the developing story is from FoxNews.com. Storm assessment reports are not available yet for yesterday’s storms, the local NWS office that covers Magee and the surrounding area is out of Jackson, and their site is here.

Update: The Clarion Ledger out of Jackson, Mississippi reports that Governor Haley Barbour has officially declared a state of emergency for many counties affected by yesterday’s severe storms, and that a “path of substantial damage” was noted for the Magee tornado that “… tore through the north side of town.” Other reports and pictures are available with the Clarion Ledger article.

Click the image at right or here to view storm reports by type and date. It is handy when viewing storm reports to choose the “range selector” under the date toggle forms, and choose “past 2 or 3 days” to ensure the relevant information you seek is pulled up from the database.

Storm Reports – Click For Live Data

Rivers & Lakes Center – Click for Live Data
Flooding
The national media has given respectable coverage to flooding that is and will continue to occur in the Dakotas and Minnesota. Not to “toot our own horn” but a fantastic reference for river conditions and flood outlooks is our River Center.

As you open the link, scroll down until you see the map and notice “River & Lake Stage Conditions”, with the scale of “Normal (color green)” to “Major Flood (color purple),” and also the Outlook thumbnail in the right menu. For this example I advise clicking the boundary between North Dakota and Minnesota.

After doing so hold your mouse cursor over the large purple dot just south of Fargo, and notice the flyout that says “Red River of the North… Stage 38.67 feet – Major Flooding.” Then click the dot. I chose this for you since it is garnering the most media attention.

Now what comes up is action stages and flow information for the river, then below a Forecast of projected river stages, and historical data. Note that currently (current is highlighted when you scroll down) we are at 38 feet + but as we move forward in time, a peak of 41 feet is forecast to occur by 1pm on Saturday, March 28, and continue at that level through next Tuesday March 31, and then very slowly begin tapering off, remaining at a major flood stage through April 2, a week from today.



Please be sure to view our Advisory and Radar Centers for the latest updates and developments.

As always stay tuned to your favorite weather outlet, stay informed, and stay safe!

cheers,

–patrick

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