All Weather News

Winter Storm Causing Havoc in the Central U.S.

21 Feb 2013, 12:57 pm

It’s a busy Thursday around the WeatherNationTV offices. Hope you are doing well today, and not stuck at work or school due to the snow!

Snow in the Central Plains

Above is some of the very latest information we have of the storm information. Numerous colleges are closed, people are out of the cars on some stretches of roads, and in some cities travel bans are currently in place.

Heavy snow is falling across the middle portion of the nation today. Check out some of the DOT cameras from the areas being impacted by winter weather today. Roads are quickly becoming tough to navigate, and I would certainly not advise driving today if necessary. As of midday, I-70 between Hays and Salina in Kansas had been closed due to the dangerous driving conditions.

Check out this radar image from midday today showing the extent of the whole storm system extending from Nebraska and Iowa all the way to the Gulf Coast.

Winter Storm Warnings extend across a good portion of the central Plains. We have already seen areas that have received over a foot of snow, and it is likely that we could have some areas just west of Kansas City receive up to two feet!

Icy Side

An Ice Storm Warning continues til the dinner hour for portions of Arkansas due to the possibility of up to three-quarters of an inch of ice. We are anticipating many power outages within this area if this type of accumulation does occur.

Severe Side

Did you happen to see this from earlier this morning? A Severe Thunderstorm Warning next to the Ice Storm Warning in Arkansas! You don’t often see that occur. Storms have been pulsing this morning in the south, bringing small hail with them.

We are watching the possibility of severe weather this afternoon from eastern Texas through Louisiana and into Mississippi. There is some strong shear in the area, so we cannot rule out the possibility of a tornado or two, but the main threats will be large hail and damaging winds.

Storm Continues Friday

First, the snowy part of the storm will move into the upper Midwest and affect the morning commute in the Twin Cities and Chicago. Snow totals across these areas will likely be under 6″, but still enough to cause some concerns. Freezing rain might also mix in in the Chicago area, meanwhile in areas such as Indianapolis, Louisville and Columbus the main threat will be up to a tenth of an inch of ice.

The severe threat moves towards the Mobile area Friday. Models area indicating the possibility of a line of storms forming late in the afternoon with an isolated severe threat. Damaging winds will be the main concern, but an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out.

However, the main threat Friday appears to be the heavy rains across the southeast. Forecast Precipitable Water values, a measure of the amount of moisture in the air, are very high for this time of year — close to record from some locations. In simple terms, what that means is that we are looking at very heavy rain. I would not be surprised to see some areas get up to 6″ of rain particularly near the coast from storms tomorrow into Saturday. Might be a good time to build that arc!

As I said, it’s a VERY busy Thursday here. We’ll keep you up to date with the very latest on this winter storm as it moves across the county.

Remember you can always get the latest forecast for your area on our website by clicking here. You can also watch our forecasts, take a look at current severe and winter weather across the country, and submit your weather photos. We love to use your photos and videos in our shows and on our blog!

Have a great Thursday — and a fantastic weekend!

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

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