Sunday, March 31, 2013

April 5-7 Potential Winter Storm - Midwest, Plains

The potential exists for a winter storm to impact the Plains and Midwest between April 5th and 7th.

The GFS American model has a winter storm moving through the Plains and Midwest beginning on April 5th and continuing through April 7th. Current indications are that this system will drop from Canada and progress through the northern Plains and Upper Midwest. As the system takes this path, a snowstorm will likely evolve as cold air produced from the abundant snow cover in Canada and continued high pressure presence over the Arctic.

Model guidance suggests snowfall amounts from this system would well exceed half a foot, and many locations would top one foot of snow. The heaviest amounts would be found in west central Wisconsin, central Minnesota, northeast South Dakota and extreme southeast North Dakota. Lesser amounts would be found away from the aforementioned areas, but a sharp cutoff will likely exist south of those areas.

Now, the European model does not believe this will be a winter weather event. The model indicates a rain solution is the more likely scenario, and snow would not be nearly as abundant as the American model indicates. A few notes concerning the models, for those trying to pick out which solution is more likely for themselves: The American model has had recent success with storm systems over the European model. Models do not handle springtime storms well due to the unstable temperature profiles (in the sense that precip. types are more uncertain than in the winter).

I will not pick out a solution right now as too much uncertainty exists for my liking, but this storm does need to be monitored for the possibility of a late-season snowstorm.


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