1/6/2005: SIGNIFICANT PLAINS/MIDWEST WINTER STORM

Past couple runs of the ETA have been interesting as far as winter weather is concerned. A large swath of potentially very heavy snows (based on the 00Z ETA) should be extending from IA to southern MI is just north of a very tight baroclinic zone between 48-84 hours, with a nice overrunning event setting up. Temps at 850mb are generally in the -6C to -8C range with deep moisture and strong VV's in the low to mid levels. SFC temps appear to remain in the low to mid 20's for the event duration, and given the local 20:1 snow ratio for the past big event at these temperatures/setup, I would also say this could be a 20:1 ratio. QPF on the ETA is generally above 1 inch, and PWATS just south of the baroclinic zone reach a healthy 1.85 inches (very high for January!), so this could get very interesting!

Looks like the ones who missed out on the last event may get hit big time with this one (Joel, Dan, Me, etc.)...

This event is still a few days out, and I have yet to check the other models, but this certainly gives me high hopes!
 
Looks like we're gonna get a decent icing down here in Illinois. Oye, and the 60 degree temps were so nice. I knew we were gonna have to pay for it somehow...
 
It looks like we'll finally be in for some snow here in eastern Nebraska on Tuesday and Wednesday. Before that, there's the potential for some semi-significant icing tonight. My, how things change in a hurry.
 
With only 3.9" here officially thus far in Milwaukee for the winter season...we're kind of snow-depressed, the snow lovers anyways. A nice +12 incher would be an effective remedy. Even blending the 00z GFS and ETA amounts would yield about 9-12 inches here. This far out...I like to halve amounts to keep me honest and not get too excited. So 4-6" would make me happy :)

...Alex Lamers...
 
Originally posted by Dan Cook
Dewey, I AM going to hold this to you if it bombs out. :twisted: 8)


Me too! :p


It does look like a good snow storm for a lot of us. The temp range from north to south across the conus is very impressive!
 
Most of the medium range models seem to be agreeing on this system, GFS has been trending towards a deeper and further north solution (compared to the JAN 02 2004 12Z run). The baroclinic zone will be very tight and will make or break this situation...
 
The latest ETA actually has my area getting more freezing rain again. In fact, it would be a rather impressive ice storm, with up to an inch of ice accumulation. Of course this is from just the one run, so I am not putting too much credence into it. Nevertheless this is a very interesting storm. It's nice to have some action again, something to track.

I gotta tell ya, as much as I love springtime storms etc, I really do enjoy tracking these winter storms!
 
Strong words from HPC/NCEP:

IF THE GFS/ETA ARE CORRECT... THE FREEZING RAIN
ASPECT COULD BE VERY SIGNIFICANT TO POSSIBLY HISTORIC.

Unfortunately, I am catching a connecting flight at O'Hare around noon Wednesday. :roll: I hope they have only snow there or it could be a long week!
 
I'll either be getting freezing rain or snow from this. Neither the ETA or GFS model is exciting me this round. Last night's GFS run showed me in the 6-10" of snow range. That changed today. I'm praying for a good snowstorm. I'm not too optimistic though. The county I live in has a bubble over it preventing anything more than 6" of snow from falling. :? :evil:
 
Sitting here just north of Detroit, I should get either freezing rain or snow, and alot of whatever one I do get (hopefully)... What I DO NOT want to see, is a mixture of snow/sleet/freezing rain! LOL
 
Wow, this storm system seems to be getting more and more interesting. What I do like about it is it's longevity. Snow will accumulate well over a foot in the heavy snow swath. And it looks like a fairly wide area will see a long duration icing event with accumulations in excess of an inch! Power crews across the midwest are going to be putting in some OT this week I'm afraid.

Right now the NWS in DVN is calling for mainly snow in my area, however all the models show thickness' above 540 during most of the event. This is going to be a very close call. If this ends up being all ice it will be one incredible storm, one for the record books possibly.

*Okay some of that may have been a little bit of wishcasting...:p
 
The 12Z ETA is a bit further south than the 00Z run, and a tad weaker... This actually keeps me in the all snow, but the heavier accumulations would be about 50 miles to my south.
 
Winter storm watches already being thrown up for areas of the Great Lakes and Midwest, or about 36-42 hours BEFORE the event even starts. NWS offices are taking this storm very seriously, as apparent by the early watches. 18Z ETA looks more like the 06Z ETA, and took a slight jog further north again...
 
We'll let you know, as we'll see it here tomorrow into Wednesday. They've been giddy about this one for several days now, as apparently we all have. I just want to see some snow......

Tim
 
Things still look interesting... The 18Z FSL RUC is beginning to pick up the event, and is quite moist with this system. The FSL RUC verified pretty darn well in regards to the last strong winter storm (Ohio Valley) in terms of QPF and SFC low positioning.

I am also trying to decide whether or not to run the Workstation ETA using the GFS as initialization, on a 12KM grid scale and KF convective scheme, just to see how the QPF sets up (since the GFS appears to be more stable with the track, and is currently doing a better job at verification). But, I have found that doing this will actually kill a winter storm :wink:

NWS DTX has a watch out for greater than 8 inches of snow, and that is pretty rare considering the event is still quite a ways out, and DTX only reserves the "greater than 8 inch" wording for the strongest of storms (or so I have noticed, most of the time it's "greater than 6 inches").
 
Winter Storm Watches are up here in eastern Nebraska, and OAX seems confident enough in the models and their forecast to go ahead and set start times for the Winter Storm Warnings (Noon tomorrow for my location). Forecast calls for as much as 12 inches of snow.

EDIT: Actually, looks like NO Winter Storm Watch. They just went ahead and issued a Winter Storm Warning for the entire CWA, starting at various times of day tomorrow for certain zones. So, technically, the Winter Storm Warning has been issued, but it's not yet in effect. Weird. Or perhaps it's normal, and I've just lived in Texas too long.
 
"So, technically, the Winter Storm Warning has been issued, but it's not yet in effect."

That's normal... Same thing for a watch - my area is under a winter storm watch tomorrow issued today (wouldn't make sense to wait til an event starts to send the warning!)

I'm calling for 4-8" in the Lansing area with 8-12" south and east towards the state line.

- rd

PS No need to post "we're waiting for the next model run" because we're all waiting for the next model run, and no need to post just stating that your area is under a watch or warning because we all see the national graphics with watches & warnings...
 
Originally posted by rdale
That's normal... Same thing for a watch - my area is under a winter storm watch tomorrow issued today (wouldn't make sense to wait til an event starts to send the warning!)

I've seen it done with Winter Storm Watches, but never a Warning. Not to say it doesn't happen...it just surprised me, especially given that, for some locations, the warning wouldn't kick in for another 24 hours after issuance. Seems like it would make more sense to issue a Watch today and then upgrade to a Warning tomorrow at the necessary time.

When I was a student intern at FTW years ago, I don't remember ever being around when a Winter Storm Watch or Warning was issued, so I didn't remember the exact protocol off the top of my head.
 
Originally posted by rdale
PS No need to post \"we're waiting for the next model run\" because we're all waiting for the next model run, and no need to post just stating that your area is under a watch or warning because we all see the national graphics with watches & warnings...

Hey, ya gotta keep the thread on top somehow! :eek:

Anyway Rob, it's interesting to see your forecast -- Our local ABC station (WXYZ) didn't mention any accumulations, and didn't even mention the watch until well into the 6:00PM edition, which I was quite surprised at.

Your forecast looks about right, no need to go bonkers with totals when the storm is just barely making the CA coast as of now. Things can always be tuned up or down as the situation evolves...
 
Originally posted by Jeff Lawson+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Jeff Lawson)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-rdale
That's normal... Same thing for a watch - my area is under a winter storm watch tomorrow issued today (wouldn't make sense to wait til an event starts to send the warning!)

I've seen it done with Winter Storm Watches, but never a Warning. Not to say it doesn't happen...it just surprised me, especially given that, for some locations, the warning wouldn't kick in for another 24 hours after issuance. Seems like it would make more sense to issue a Watch today and then upgrade to a Warning tomorrow at the necessary time.

When I was a student intern at FTW years ago, I don't remember ever being around when a Winter Storm Watch or Warning was issued, so I didn't remember the exact protocol off the top of my head.[/b]

I think the reason for the early warning, is that many NWS are expecting this to be a pretty significant event, or at least that's how it looks right now. Still time for things to change, but better to get the warning out early than to have no warning at all. My personal guess, based on observations over the years, is that our local NWS (DTX/GRR) won't issue a warning until tomorrow afternoons package or perhaps even as late as the Wednesday A.M. discussion... They usually give a 12 hour lead time...
 
"Seems like it would make more sense to issue a Watch today and then upgrade to a Warning tomorrow at the necessary time. "

It's a confidence thing... For some areas this is a high confidence event, so no sense putting off something.

As for Detroit's TV weathercasters - they aren't well known for the meteorological abilities.

- Rob
 
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