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Snow & Wind: A Busy Winter At The End Of Winter

18 Mar 2013, 11:34 am

Well… it’s almost spring, right?  So shouldn’t we be showing pictures of greenery and talking about warm temps?  Instead it’s all about snow, mix, sleet, ice, etc.  Cold temperatures are dominating the weather patterns – even when you mix thunder in.

Check out this shot of a lightning flash in Missouri associated with some thundersleet:


Thundersleet In Missouri
Thundersleet In Missouri


That isn’t just a strangely lit view – it is, in fact, the flash of lightning!  Pretty cool.  Has a nice boom to it as well.  Unfortunately, scenes like that are the only “cool” scenes you’ll see from these systems.

We’ve already been tracking severe storms earlier today – including a few warnings near and over Nashville, TN.  Areas just north of the Nashville region saw a sequence of tornado warnings just around the time many folks were headed off to work and school (around 9am Eastern time to a little past that mark).


Snowfall: Let’s Talk About It


On the other end of the equation you’re looking at some moderate to significant snowfall – and wind.  Lots, and lots, of wind.  Blizzard warnings still in effect on the backside of the Midwest’s low pressure system.

We’ve already seen some snowfall tallies starting to come in from this latest system:


 Snowfall Totals
Snowfall Totals


While those totals are fairly tame, the winds of 25-35mph are a big concern.  Even if the snow falling has “outrun” the winds… we are still talking the potential of rural ground blizzards due to loose snow that is blown around by the strong winds.  Gusts to around 50mph won’t be a huge surprise as the storm system moves east.

It was quite interesting as we watched the cold front itself come through the area.  We could actually see it on radar.  Take a look at this picture:


Cold Front Approaches
Cold Front Approaches: Red is moving away from radar, green is moving toward radar.


I was scanning the radar and happened to notice that little line showing up on radar just west of the Twin Cities area.  Looking at the velocity data it became apparent what I was seeing: the cold front!  Red pixels on velocity indicate areas going *away* from the radar, while greens indicate areas going *toward* the radar.  That is significant because you can see greens coming from the Northwest – indicating a shift to colder air.

With regard to snow, I’d love to give you some better news – but the closest large-scale Midwest warm-up is still a ways away.  Possibly by the end of the month…  In the meantime it’ll be cold enough even as far south as St. Louis that they could see a few flakes fly by midweek:


More Snow For Central Plains?
More Snow For Central Plains?


Notice that little blob showing up from just north of Kansas City to just south of St. Louis.  That is potentially a dusting or more of snowfall by Wednesday night!  Pretty wild to see that this late in the season.

Stay tuned here on WeatherNation throughout the day as we track any strong to severe thunderstorms, and tally up new snowfall tallies!

WeatherNation Meteorologist Aaron Shaffer @ashafferWNTV

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