Winter Weather Discussion 2007-2-1

Winter Weather Discussion for January 19 – 21, 2007.
Valid: 01/17/2007.

Highlights:

– Winter Storm Watch for all of central and western Oklahoma, and the northwest part of north Texas Friday night into Sunday. Central/Southern Texas Panhandle and west Texas.

– Winter weather is possible across all of Oklahoma, Texas panhandle, Kansas, and north Texas during the above time period.

Discussion:

I remain very hesitant to forecast another significant event this week. However, models are reasonably similar on the progression of a closed SW U.S. southern stream low. The 12z GFS/NAM have different versions of how fast this thing will move, with the GFS being the quickest. The trend this year has been for slower systems out of the SW and this looks to be a good idea. For this reason the NAM appears to be the better model at this point. However, it doesn't seem to make much of a difference as either prog results in 0.50 to 1.25 inches of QPF across the state.

As with the prior system the southern part of Oklahoma stands the best chance at higher QPF. Model progs leave some questions as to precip type in this region. I believe we'll see sleet and snow in this area. The cold layer looks too thick to warm enough for freezing rain. Additionally, the snowpack to the north will refrigerate any air that moves into the region. North of Ardmore to McAlester, snow will be the only precip type and there could be lots of it. Some OKC TV stations are going up to one foot and at this point I cannot disagree. However, I'm not going to punch the panic alarm at this point.

Ground temps are in the mid 30s across the state with some low 40s southeast. As such, frozen precipitation that falls will not be wasted in lowing ground temperatures and will readily stick to the current snowpack. This should create even greater travel problems since many minor roads have yet to thaw out from the prior storm.

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About Putnam Reiter

Putnam has been storm chasing since 1990 and is a co-founder of Hook-Echo.com. For his day job, Putnam works in emergency management for information technology.
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