Monday, January 25, 2010

Winter Storm Update

I am currently in Biloxi, Mississippi at a Raycom Media Digital Media Conference, but I wanted to update you on the possible winter storm moving towards southeast Missouri, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, northwest Tennessee, and northeast Arkansas.

To be honest, models are all over the place with this storm. There isn't much run to run consistency between the longer run models (NOAA's global forecast model, GFS, and the European meteorology agency's ECMWF). Because of the inconsistent runs precipitation types and amounts vary greatly.

I just took a look at this morning's GFS run. Snow lovers you will like this. Here is a look at the data for Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

From 6pm CT Thursday to 3pm CT Friday, this model is putting down 0.85" of liquid precipitation. Surface temperatures during this time period (red line) would be below freezing so everything would fall as snow. After all of the calculations the GFS is suggesting 12" of snow. That is a lot of snow! Conversely, last night's run of the model kept the precipitation in Cape Girardeau as all rain.

Here are a few other amounts of snow suggested by the GFS for Thursday-Friday.
  • Farmington, Missouri: 7.5"
  • Paducah, Kentucky: 10.9"
  • St. Louis, Missouri: 0"
Note about the winter storm... If this does happen Thursday/Friday, it would happen exactly one year after the 2009 ice storm that crippled the area.

Something else to notice, look at the temperatures following the snow. Temperatures plunge to below zero. It is a little hard to tell how cold we will drop just yet, but if there is a substantial snow pack on the ground, it is likely we would drop below zero.

Stay tuned...

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