A taste of winter for the Srn Plains?

So I wake up this morning to find an SPS from Norman WFO about the possibility of snow or ice late Wednesday into Thursday and immediately I'm intrigued. I'm a big fan of the warm weather and thunderstorms but I could stand a little wintry precipitation right now.

Checking out the GFS BUFR forecast soundings for OUN it looks like all our post-frontal precip that it is depicting on Thursday would indeed be snow. Time cross-sections show RH in the dendritic growth zone right around 90%, although best vertical motion displaced about 4000' below the DGZ. However, also interesting to note that the GFS does allow for some elevated instability to develop. DGEX in fair agreement with the GFS as is the ECMWF.

Thus I pose the question...are they depicting the evolution of this system fairly well or not. I'm starting to get my hopes up for a few flakes so I sure hope so!

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Good news too is that if we do get snow it probably wouldn't accumulate much at all

The Speical Weather Statement states:

This could be a little more than just a few flakes.
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Got to remember when they say significant winter precip for around here, they don't mean several inches, they mean 1-2" (yes ,we're wimps...tornadoes we can handle, snow (and especially ice) that's another story). The models look like they're coming together now with precip beginning as rain by 0Z Thursday, changing over to frozen stuff by 12Z. Got to review my winter weather forecasting stuff before I get a definite forecast on this, but it's looking more interesting with each run. It's all going to depend on exactly where the upper system tracks and a few miles is going to make a big difference. Right now I'd guess (um....forecast;) ) south, southeastern and eastern OK is going to get most of the action, but central OK may not get theirs until after 12Z Thursday.
Weeee....the first round of winter weather for us. Let me go outside and shoot myself now. Rush hour is going to be a blast on Thursday morning. Looks like the media is hyping it pretty good...which means everything will melt. :)

Seriously...not sure what to really expect. We were well above 70 today...the ground isn't that cold yet...and there is going to be a ton of rain before it starts. Stuff will eventually start to freeze, but it will take awhile. If we were starting off dry and temps falling quickly before the precip starts, it would be better in my experience to get the stuff to stick.

Of course predicting winter weather here in Oklahoma is a lot different than the Great Lakes. At least there you have the lakes available to fubar all the forecasts. lol I'll say an inch or so would probably be most probably...the roads won't be terrible unless we get a period to where effective cooling on the surface can happen and the precip be timed right.

Oh well look at the bright side, all of our cars will be red now as they throw sand all over the place. Oh how I long for the days of effective road preparation and treatment. :)
I guess OUN NWS is in the middle of issuing a winter storm warning for the area. Their homepage is showing a graphic for 4"-8" for much of SW and Central Oklahoma with +8" to the North, but I don't see the text warning yet. http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/home.php
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For those in Oklahoma and N Texas, WFO Norman will be conducting a live briefing on all of our weather radio stations concerning the upcoming winter storm. The briefing will begin around 3 PM CST.

Of course OUN's going to get hammered so you're all in luck.......I personally removed the Norman WX Pit by moving from the area 6 months ago. :cool:

Holy cow...4-8"?????? Guess we won't have class tomorrow:p
I'd love to hear the briefing, but I'll be in class.
So just exactly why has this system decided to intensify so fast and so much? Faster movement of the front coupled with Gulf moisture abundantly in place?
That's interesting... I went to bed about 6am to a winter weather advisory with some weak icing exciting... I wake up to a nearly statewide Winter Storm Warning with some of the tV mets saying it could be the biggest winter storm in 5 years for area. Geez.

BTW, I expect the Norman dome to work in full steam. Historically, the freezing / rain-snow / icing line seems to almost always setup like 10-15 miles north of OUN... ;-)
So just exactly why has this system decided to intensify so fast and so much? Faster movement of the front coupled with Gulf moisture abundantly in place?

If you're going to school for meteorology, perhaps you could be one of the people to go on and discover just what that is. In reality, I think it's the models not analyzing initial conditions the right way, or perhaps even the model's physics.

For example, the ARW WRF is very similar to the GFS track (further east), yet it's actually warmer. Meanwhile, the NMM WRF is similar to the operational NAM, but a touch stronger (and yet, it's colder). Then you have the FSL RUC (also a form of the WRF) that takes a sub-985MB low to the west of Chicago.

There are lots of variations and it all boils down to whether a particular model can catch it or not.

As for the system strength in general - it could have to do with the tight thermal boundary / baroclinic zone and the 500MB shortwave passing overhead. The jet stream ramps up in response to the thermal gradient, and the 500MB shortwave just kicks it off from there...
A tornado watch directly abutting and overlapping a Winter Storm Warning. Niiiice! :cool:

I'm hoping that OUN finally gets the winter storm they've been craving......they deserve it after so many winters of "Oh look......the freezing line's still in Yukon......".

OUN's Winter Storm Warning text is very direct - it's be amazing to see some areas get 8" of white stuff. Maybe a significant coating of ice will make things interesting, too. I'll be watching the news......

What has happened to all of the excitable southern Plains' residents? Is everybody holed-up in their wintery wasteland? Where are all of the excited snow and ice totals from OUN? It looks like it has been steady there for about a day now......

What has happened to all of the excitable southern Plains' residents? Is everybody holed-up in their wintery wasteland? Where are all of the excited snow and ice totals from OUN? It looks like it has been steady there for about a day now......


Looks like 2-3" here in south Norman, but it's hard to be sure thanks to all the blowing and drifting of the snow. Started off as mainly sleet last night, with several nices rounds of thunder-sleet. Here at my house, I think we had around 1/2" - 3/4" of sleet. Snow still coming down at a light to moderate rate as of about 5pm. Some parts of northern Ok and southern Ks have seen totals in the 8-12" range, especially near Arkansas City Ks.

Here in Shawnee, OK. I measured 3" of snow, but dug down through the ice and it was a total of 4.5" of ice and snow. (at 5:30pm.) It is still coming down pretty good. We had a brief period of snow last night about 8pm, then it was all freezing rain and sleet until about 2pm today when it turned to all snow.
Cold air tongue persists OKC-->CHI

I considered starting a new thread....nah....This'll do I guess....

Anyone besides me noticed the forecast sfc temps on the models have a distinct tongue of cold from OKC to CHI persisting for several more days? Obviously, this is due to the snow cover from last week's storm continuing to radiate away the insolation. It persists through 18Z Friday on this afternoon's (18Z) GFS run. Even at 00Z Sat it is perceptible, then it's pretty much gone. Guess the snow is forecast to melt away Fri.

I think it's kinda interesting!

The vis sat loops are still cool to look at, too.

<edit> Oops, no, it's still there even on Sun.

High-res images available here: http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/
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