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Weather Update, November 6, 2008: More Blizzard! Storm Reports, and Tropical Blah

6 Nov 2008, 2:55 pm

Heavy snow continues to pummel the northern Great Plains this morning as the blizzard warnings, winter storm warnings, and various watches have been extended past the eastern edges of the Dakotas, and south into Nebraska. Below are two screen captures of our HAMrad II Precipitation Type Radar (click each for full size). At left is our Ptype radar overlain with isobars and frontal depictions, which is always fun to view especially for those with an interest in precipitation type and location with respect to areas of low pressure and frontal boundaries. Bottom right is our standard Ptype radar covering the northern Great Plains without the overlays for a clearer view of location.

HAMrad II Precipitation Type Radars November 6, 2008
HAMrad II Ptype with Fronts & Isobars HAMrad II Ptype Standard Northern Plains
Watches and Warnings for the Northern Great Plains

Our HWwarnings Product at left (click for full size) displays how the watches and warnings have been expanded for the Northern Great Plains since yesterday’s article. Most notably is the degree to which blizzard warnings have been extended to cover more of the state, and how the winter storm warning has been officially extended into Nebraska Pahnhandle and northcentral portion of the state. Sample watches and warnings are provided below.

Additionally, note the extent of the High Wind Warnings on the HWwarning plot at left, and compare to the HAMrad II with frontal depictions and isobars above. Where the isobars are close together this is termed a “pressure gradient” (PGF is not really a force, but the acceleration of atmospheric mass due to pressure differences (ergo force per unit mass). Is there a similarity to the pressure gradient depicted above and the high wind warnings / blizzard warnings (requires sustained falling/blowing snow with winds => 35mph for at least 3 hours) at left?

Sample Watches and Warnings November 6, 2008
North Dakota Blizzard and Winter Storm Warnings
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BISMARCK ND
1037 AM CST THU NOV 6 2008

BLIZZARD AND WINTER STORM WARNINGS CONTINUE ACROSS WEST AND CENTRAL NORTH DAKOTA.

A POWERFUL WINTER STORM WILL CONTINUE TO BRING SEVERE WINTER WEATHER ACROSS MUCH OF WEST AND CENTRAL NORTH DAKOTA INTO FRIDAY MORNING.

FOR SOUTHWEST AND WEST CENTRAL NORTH DAKOTA. BLIZZARD CONDITIONS WILL CONTINUE. AREAS OF MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOW WILL PERSIST THIS MORNING…AND GRADUALLY DISSIPATE BY EARLY AFTERNOON. HOWEVER NORTH WINDS OF 30 TO 35 MPH… AND GUSTS AS HIGH AS 55 MPH… WILL CREATE SIGNIFICANT BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW INTO THE EARLY MORNING HOURS TONIGHT. TRAVEL WILL BE VERY DANGEROUS IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE.

FOR NORTHWEST NORTH DAKOTA… THE STORM HAS EXITED THAT REGION AND THE WARNING HAS BEEN REMOVED. SOME FLURRIES AND GUSTY WINDS MAY PERSIST.

FOR NORTH CENTRAL NORTH DAKOTA…HEAVY SNOW WILL CONTINUE THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING. STRONG NORTH WINDS AS HIGH AS 50 MPH WILL COMBINE WITH FALLING SNOW TO CREATE CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW AND REDUCED VISIBILITIES. TRAVEL IS HIGHLY DISCOURAGED.

FOR SOUTH CENTRAL NORTH DAKOTA… AREAS OF SNOW WILL REDEVELOP THROUGH THE AFTERNOON HOURS… THEN INCREASE IN INTENSITY THIS EVENING AND TONIGHT. COMBINED WITH WINDS OF 30 TO 40 MPH… AND GUSTS AS HIGH AS 50 MPH… BLIZZARD CONDITIONS WILL DEVELOP AND PERSIST INTO THE OVERNIGHT HOURS.

SIX TO TEN INCHES OF SNOW… WIND GUSTS TO 60 MPH… AND VISIBILITIES NEAR ZERO ARE LIKELY DURING THE HEIGHT OF THIS STORM OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS. SIGNIFICANT BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW WILL LIKELY CONTINUE INTO FRIDAY MORNING ACROSS MUCH OF THE STATE. DELAY TRAVEL IF POSSIBLE AND MAKE OTHER PREPARATIONS FOR THIS STORM. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL… HAVE A WINTER SURVIVAL KIT WITH YOU. IF YOU GET STRANDED… STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE.

South Dakota Blizzard Warning
URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SIOUX FALLS SD
929 AM CST THU NOV 6 2008

A VERY STRONG FALL STORM SYSTEM WILL SLOWLY MOVE EAST TODAY. RAINFALL WILL WRAP AROUND FROM SOUTHWEST MINNESOTA TO EAST CENTRAL SOUTH DAKOTA TO WEST OF THE JAMES RIVER… WHERE THE RAIN SHOULD GRADUALLY CHANGE TO SNOW LATE THIS AFTERNOON. ALL OF EASTERN SOUTH DAKOTA SHOULD BE IN A BAND OF MODERATE TO OCCASIONALLY HEAVY SNOW
TONIGHT… AND WITH NORTHWEST WINDS OF 30 TO 45 MPH… DANGEROUS CONDITIONS WILL DEVELOP. LOCATIONS ALONG AND WEST OF THE JAMES RIVER VALLEY WILL SEE THE HIGHEST THREAT FOR A COMBINATION OF HEAVY SNOW AND VERY WINDY CONDITIONS.

THE BLIZZARD WARNING IS NOW IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 12 PM CST FRIDAY.

AREAS OF RAIN WILL CHANGE TO SNOW FROM WEST TO EAST OVER THE AREA LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND THEN SHOULD INCREASE IN INTENSITY ALONG WITH INCREASING VERY STRONG NORTHWEST WINDS BY TONIGHT. MODERATE TO OCCASIONALLY HEAVY SNOW WILL COMBINE WITH NORTHWEST WINDS GUSTING TO AROUND 45 MPH TO PRODUCE BLIZZARD CONDITIONS. EXPECT THE VISIBILITY TO DROP TO NEAR ZERO AT TIMES THIS EVENING WITH STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL OF 4 TO 7 INCHES EXPECTED.

A BLIZZARD WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. FALLING AND BLOWING SNOW WITH STRONG WINDS AND POOR VISIBILITIES ARE LIKELY. THIS WILL LEAD TO WHITEOUT CONDITIONS… MAKING TRAVEL EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. DO NOT TRAVEL. IF YOU MUST… HAVE A WINTER SURVIVAL KIT WITH YOU. IF YOU GET STRANDED… STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE.

What Does NAM Say Today?
Our NAM 84 Hour Forecast Snowdepth Animation (12z run 3 hr increments) shows that NAM has had fairly consistent thinking throughout this latest snow event. As an FYI, for those not keeping track, this is the third blizzard event we have had thus far this year, and it is only November 6th! Woohoo! Or perhaps not woohoo for those that are forced to suffer the severe weather, my apologies! NAM extends the breadth of snowfall slightly more east today as time progresses, but fairly similar to previous runs. Of interesting note is the teenie tiny bit of forecast snowfall in the Appalachians of West Virginia at the end of the run, or around 00z Sunday.
Significant Snow in our Future?
GFS is currently thinking that a whiff of snow will pass through Kansas, Missouri, and into Illinois at the beginning of next week eventually leading to light snow in upstate New York by this time next week. I’ll keep an eye on things and provide an update as we get closer to that time. As of now, it does not appear to be a significant event.
Storm Reports from Yesterday?
As of the time of this writing, there was one tornado report from yesterday in Stone County, Missouri. The report stated that the tornado occurred east southeast of Shell Knob, with a path one and one half miles long, and 100 yards wide, with a preliminary rating of EF0.

There were a total of 85 hail reports, and 43 wind reports. The largest hail report was 2.50″ from Canadian County, Oklahama, with numerous other large hail reports and hail streaks. Many reports of tree limbs down, shingles off roofs, and downed power lines as well.

For fun I dug through youtube to see if any videos were uploaded from yesterday’s events, and have included a few for you below.


Dogs playing in hail…

Mommy thinks the water is too cold!

=)


Hail falling in Moore, Oklahama

The poor trampoline!

=)


Oklahoma City Hail !

Nice closeup shot of hailstone

=)

Today the SPC is calling for a slight chance of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes in Louisiana. You may view the HAMweather Convective Outlook section for areal depictions.

Tropical Storm Paloma finally pulled itself together, and is forecast to head towards Cuba and northeastward from there, thus avoiding the United States.

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

cheers,

–patrick

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