Tuesday, January 9, 2018

January 10-12 Winter Storm

A winter storm is expected to impact the Northern Plains over the January 10-12 period.

As of this morning, a strong upper level low was located offshore California, moving into the Southwest. In addition, a piece of energy was located moving onshore just north of the Pacific Northwest. These two features will combine to create an accumulating snow event for portions of the central U.S. in the next couple of days.

By Thursday morning, this upper level low is forecast to have moved into the Central U.S. and separated into two primary parts - the majority of the energy is projected to take the form of a positively-tilted trough, bottoming out in western Texas, while a smaller part of the low will break off and ride the ridge over the Ohio Valley to become negatively-tilted. At the same time, that small piece of energy we currently see moving along the U.S. / Canada border near the Pacific Northwest will help to pull that smaller piece of energy northward and help give it that negative tilt to create the winter storm for the Plains.

Tropical Tidbits
Also on Thursday morning, the winter storm is projected to be ongoing for the Plains, with a surface low located along the Iowa / Wisconsin border producing a band of accumulating snow from Kansas to Minnesota and the northern portions of Wisconsin. The GFS model portrays a sliver of precipitation to fall as sleet or perhaps freezing rain, but due to how conditions must be "just right" for freezing rain to occur, and to some extent also for sleet, the location and intensity of either freezing rain or sleet will likely only be accurately known just before the event begins. Rain is expected to fall and chip away at any enduring snowpack in Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, southern Wisconsin and parts of Missouri.

Pivotal Weather
Snow accumulations are expected to be maximized along a bad from central Kansas through eastern Nebraska, northwestern Iowa and southern Minnesota, with a stripe of particularly-heavier accumulations forecasted from southern Minnesota through northern Wisconsin and the upper peninsula of Michigan. Light snowfall is possible in the wake of the storm system as colder air filters in behind the low, resulting in the 1-2" accumulations depicted across southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois and parts of Iowa and Missouri.

The snowfall in the primary axis of heavy snow is expected to be of the heavier and wetter kind, as opposed to the light & fluffy snowfall seen from Alberta Clippers. As such, if you reside in an area expecting accumulating snowfall from this storm, be sure to take frequent breaks if you decide to shovel, and to not exert yourself when doing so. Snowblowers are often the best idea for moving substantial accumulations of this kind of heavy, wet snow.

To Summarize:

- A winter storm is expected to affect portions of the Central U.S. between January 10th and January 12th.
- Accumulations of 6-9" are expected in a band extending from central Kansas through eastern Nebraska, western Iowa, southern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and the upper peninsula of Michigan.
- This snow is expected to be more akin to heavy, wet snowfall than lighter, fluffier snowfall. As such, take precautions when shoveling snow, and use a snowblower or plow if possible.


1 comment:

Christopher Ebie said...

Nice to see you posting again.