All Weather News

Major Winter Storm On The Move

20 Feb 2013, 1:25 pm

Happy snowy Wednesday! We’re watching a strong storm system moving across the nation that is bring the chance of heavy snows to the Central Plains and severe weather to the South.

Storm Set Up

You can see the moisture and upper level low associated with our system moving across the country spinning in the southwest. That system is moving eastward and is the driving focus of our storm that will bring heavy snows to parts of Kansas and Nebraska.

Here is the 500 mb chart from this morning, showing the low area of heights associated with the system over southern California.

A strong jet (essentially strong winds) above the surface (shown here at 300 mb) is helping to give the system a kick eastward.

This low is expected to move out into the panhandle of Texas during the day Thursday and then move northeastward, with a low taking a track from Oklahoma City to Joplin to Chicago by Friday evening and slowly weaken. The heaviest of snow typically falls about 100 to 150 miles northwest of the path of the low, with the heaviest expected in Nebraska and Kansas. Check out this video of the GFS depiction of the path, courtesy of WeatherBell Analytics.

Meanwhile, for those with less time on their hands, here’s a quick summary of the snow and severe potential the next few days (hover over the photo to see the images).

stippled-photo

Snowy Side

Already snow has fallen in the Oklahoma City area early today. Check out this picture from @SoonerShoeGirl of the snow covering everything. Not what many would anticipate to see in the south! By late morning the snow had changed back over to rain in OKC and was much more tolerable to get around in. We could see some sleet or freezing rain tonight before more rain falls tomorrow in the Oklahoma City area.

Meanwhile, check out this “holey cookie” photo from Facebook fan Justin Marre taken in Midwest City, OK on the campus of Rose State College.

We would suggest that travel is NOT advised over the next 24-48 hours due to the anticipated weather across numerous areas of the Central Plains, including I-70, I-40, and I-35. Check out the Futurecast showing when snow will reach areas such as Kansas City and when the inclement weather will finally push out of Oklahoma City.

Check out some of these snow totals expected through Friday evening across the Central and Northern Plains. Some areas in Kansas could receive over 20″ of snow! You may notice that snow totals on the northern side of the system have been reduced. The system is taking a bit of a more southern path than had been expected, meaning the heavy snows will not make it into parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin. This is partly due to high pressure in Canada pushing the storm southward. We also expect some of the influx of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico to be gobbled up by severe storms in the south.

Severe Threat

We are looking at the possibility of severe storms the next couple days. Today’s threat will be late in the evening to the overnight periods mainly, with large hail and damaging winds.

This is the outlook for Thursday, when we add a chance of seeing some tornadoes, particularly in Louisiana.

Daytona 500

I personally can’t wait to see NASCAR get under way again myself. I really don’t know what it is that I like about it… must be the car crashes! Looks like there might be a slight chance of a rain shower during the race Sunday. Whether there is any rain or not, I know there are many of YOU excited for the weekend and events around you. Let us know what’s going on where you are this weekend!

We’ll keep you up to date on the latest with our winter storm moving into the Plains!

Meteorologist D.J. Kayser
Follow me on Twitter at: @weathrlver

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