03/01/07 FCST: NE/SD/IA/MN/WI/MI (Winter Precip)

Dec 10, 2003
Great Plains
A Powerful winter storm will impact portions of Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

The National Weather service has issued Blizzard Watches for a large part of northern Iowa, and Winter Storm Watches for extreme NE Nebraska, portions of South Dakota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Winter Storm/Heavy Snow Warnings are in effect for NE South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, and a large part of Wisconsin,

An intense area of low pressure wil rapidly develop this afternoon over the Texas Panhandle and into Northern Missouri. This area of low pressure will rapidly intensify creating high winds and heavy snow across these areas.

Current indications are winds could gust to near 50 MPH with very heavy snows centered over a large part of Northern Iowa into Soutern Minnesota and Wisconsin. Areas receiving less snow under winter storm watches and advisories will receive less snow but powerful winds will create dangerous conditions for those traveling out and about.

This has the potential to be a very powerful blizzard for a large part of the northern plains. Forecast your thoughts on this storm here. When this gets going we can go ahead with a NOW.
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970.5 sfc low c IA

I wonder what Iowa's record low sfc pressure is. That would be something else if it reaches that. I should rent a 4x4 and go chase this, but the second I do it'll crap out(dryslot cutting moisture off).

If only it would slow down a bit sooner. It is moving right along till it stalls in ne IA. If areas get a decent amount of snow, the drifting could be quite impressive as it seems like the wind could go on through Friday.

Looking at the low level winds shows the impressiveness of this storm.
850 jet through Friday evening

That is a monster.

GFS's snow thoughts
NAM's snow thoghts
I'm watching the ice storm potential north of DTW... The WRF runs are colder at the SFC than the operational run, including the NSSL WRF which seems to do extremely well. In fact, it has a pocket of ~25F just north of DTW at 12Z THU, and that's using the further north 00Z NAM!

During the "Ice Storm of 2003", a similar setup existed; temps prior to the event were nearing 40F with a high pressure located near Hudson. Temps during the event were very marginal, but we managed to accumulate an inch of ice here in Oakland county (an area under a ZR advisory -- warnings were FNT northward). Although, this was a night event which may have made a big difference.

If the flow can stay more ENE and draw in colder air as suggested by the WRF models, an ice storm looks like a possibility through at least 18Z THU.
Well Omaha upgraded to a blizzard warning for western IA, inlcuding the county just north of me here in NE. It'll be interesting to see how the winds pan out. They only mention gusts to 40, but that seems a little light to me. There's no strong area of high pressure nearby so I suppose maybe that is all it'll reach. If I can figure out a way to reach Murray Hill to the ne of here I may do that. I imagine that could be a fun spot up on top of there.
This system was originally not expected to be as strong as the previous one, but it has really cranked up given the latest model runs. Mike I don't know if we will really need any sort of high pressure around given the low gets into the 970s as far as pressure goes. Winds have been a hassle with these lows as far as forecasting goes, the last system was expected to have winds as well but they never increased.

Central Iowa as well as Eastern Iowa aren't likely to be hit the hardest, but it certainly won't take much to hurt the area. Most of the trees still have the coating of ice and cover of snow from the last system, with more freezing rain possible as well as heavy snow and increased winds even more powerlines and trees are likely to go down. A Civil Emergency message was issued yesterday stating that the 100,000 people without power in Iowa should head to the shelters immediately thanks to this next system coming through.

The 18z NAM moved the low slightly east and south, giving the heaviest snow in western/central Iowa, especially northern sections as well as MN, the eastern Dakotas and WI. The 18z GFS is on a simliar track putting the heaviest snow slightly east of the NAM's solution, heaviest over areas near Mason City, IA. Over 2 inches of liquid precipiation forecasted in that bullseye and thus potential for well over a foot! Tonight I will take a look into BUFKIT and see what we truely have for snowfall potential. I do not have any classes tomorrow and thus I may head out to see what I can (or can't) see with the snow/blowing snow as well.
High wind and winter storm watches in eastern IA/western IL for thursday afternoon. This area will be about 50-150 miles east of the surface low's path, so after a brief warmup with potential convection, high winds and snow will wrap in by later in the afternoon.

With surface low pressure well into the 970s, and the stacked nature of the lows, (not to mention the screaming 850mb winds wrapping around it). We'll be expecting wind gusts to approach 60mph by late tomorrow afternoon. This is much to the chigrin of local power crews still trying to restore power after the icestorm.

For anyone up in the northwest half of Iowa, on up into Minnesota, you guys are in for one hell of a storm there. Snowfall rates will exceed 2" per hour easily, possibly for several hours with thundersnow all but a given. Not to mention the high winds that will develop there as well.

In about every aspect this storm is incredible.
Latest 18Z GFS is a bit further south as well... The 0C SFC isotherm is just north of DTW through 18Z tomorrow with nearly an inch of QPF. Things are pretty unstable as well, so we might be looking at ZR with thunder. This system looks like the last one, but quite a bit stronger and a touch further northeast. I suspect the main ice threat will be closest to the cold air source over southwestern Ontario; meaning along and east of LAN and north of PTK.

NWS DTX has a WWA up for up to 0.20 inches of icing through 7PM tomorrow (00Z). If we can remain AOB freezing through 18Z or 21Z, we'll be looking at one hell of an ice storm..... Followed by strong winds (FSL RUC indicates gusts to 40knts).
Just not seeing that much chance of staying below freezing that long into the day... We certainly aren't going to be in a hurry to get cold tonight!
T is 32F here right now, which is several degrees warmer than what the NSSL WRF suggested. Both 18Z NAM and GFS trended slightly colder at the SFC -- and the 18Z NAM hit the current temperatures pretty well. By 18Z, things start to warm up to just above freezing, but the "damage has been done" as the GFS has already output 1.00 inch of QPF, with the NAM trailing at 0.50 inches (both with a convective "feel"). I suspect after 18Z well see temps hovering in the 33-35F range, then shooting up briefly as the winds shift more southerly... possibly as high as 35-40F.

It's really a battle with the convective stuff... Most of the QPF generated is between 12Z and 18Z (in actuality, 15-18Z)... If we warm up by 12Z, we'll be looking at ice totals around 0.25 on the GFS, and 0.05 to 0.10 on the NAM.

Even if we don't get the ice, it will be interesting to watch and see how things unfold; I've got a ton of standing water in my yard.