Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Winter Storm Update, Wed 11:30 AM

This forecast is going to be VERY, VERY tricky! My confidence of a winter storm is fairly high, so be happy teachers and kids. BUT, my confidence in precipitation TYPE is not that high. So, power company workers need to listen up! I'm going to make this blog post as simple as possible! These three images are the latest runs of the GFS model. That's one of the models we are looking at with this storm. BLUE IS SNOW, ORANGE IS SLEET, and RED IS ICE GLAZE (freezing rain). GREEN IS PLAIN RAIN.

The above image is JONESBORO. Notice that it has some sleet and then snow. Listen up. Sleet accumulates less than snow. Same amount of moisture, but it is not fluffy like snow. Therefore, 4+ inches of snow is equal to 2" of sleet roughly. Maybe even a larger gap. So forecasting to the inch is going to be nearly impossible.

Forecast becomes a little easier at Lake Norfork. It looks like it will be all snow there. That area could get about 10" of snow. See the image below... all blue.

Now let's head down to Memphis for their forecast model sounding...

Things really get ugly down toward Memphis... and this includes the Wynne area. They may have a big ice storm on their hands. That one green line is bogus. They will likely see enough ice to cause power problems.

So let me list off some things that can screw up our forecast:

  • First, the moisture could be robbed by storms along the coast. It has happened before and that theory can not be ignored. That would greatly lower totals.
  • The cold air could REALLY comes in and we would be all snow in places that we are anticipating some sleet. As mentioned, that would make the totals higher.
  • Convective activity. It is possible to have Thundersnow or Thundersleet in this event. As with Thunderstorms, the precipitation would be higher in those spots... even if it is isolated.
  • Storm track moves north or south. This would shift our forecast north and south.
So, those are the things that we will be watching for. IF we see any of that occuring, we will pass that information along and adjust our forecast accordingly. Once again, the forecast of a Winter Storm can change easily!

Stay tuned,

1 comment:

Rhonda said...

We will survive it, no matter what Old Man Winter brings because REGION 8 RULES!