Sunday, March 3, 2013

March 4-8 Significant Winter Storm (Updated 3/3)

A significant snowstorm is looking likely over many areas of the Plains and Midwest in the next three days to start off the workweek. It appears that the far northern Plains will bear the brunt of this event, where snowfall could exceed one foot. I can envision a wide swath of 6 to 12 inches from the Canada/US border down into the Great Lakes, with lower amounts to the west and east of this swath.

I did outline a swath in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa where I believe isolated spots of up to one foot of snow could fall. This results from fairly consistent forecasts of amounts flirting with one foot, as well as possible lake enhancement snowfall close to Chicago and Milwaukee. Latest model forecasts that I am observing as I type this show that this forecast may even need to be raised for many in the Plains and Midwest as a result.

In addition to the Midwest and Plains event, there will be an extreme snowfall event in the Mid-Atlantic, where the above forecast, fresh off the presses, shows 30 inches of snow hitting northern Virginia into eastern West Virginia in an event that would surely cripple transportation across much of the region. Amounts over a foot would be observed across much of the Mid-Atlantic, and snow days would be almost guaranteed if this forecast comes to fruition.

This model has been known to overdo snowfall forecasts, so the 30 inches could be too high. I anticipate amounts closer to the 2 foot mark going solely off this forecast. I will have to evaluate future forecasts to determine an amount that would suit this event, which could be quite an event judging by recent model forecasts.

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