Winter Weather Discussion 2008-4-3

Winter Weather Discussion for February 14 – 17, 2008.
Valid: 02/12/2008.

Highlights:

– Winter precipitation is likely Thursday night through Sunday across Oklahoma and parts of north Texas. All types of winter precip are expected.

– Bitterly cold temperatures are likely starting Thursday morning for northern Oklahoma and spreading rapidly south during the day through Texas by early Friday.

Discussion:

I took Monday off from this series in hopes that the models would come into better agreement, better luck next time. The GFS is smoking crack and is discounted for this discussion. The 00z NAM, while in the middle, seems to have trended towards the evergreen ECMWF. While I'm not going to bite into the ECMWF's solution, I think the 00z NAM is a good start and will go with the general depiction of this model.

Upper system, which will be the main story this week, is approaching the Pacific NW this evening. While almost in the upper air system, it is not quite there. As such, I'd think the 00z runs will still show some variability. I hope the 12z runs will develop some consistency as the system moves onshore.

In general, the expected evolution is for the southern stream system to dig south-southeast into New Mexico. From this point the GFS takes it into old Mexico while the other two models generally hold it in the U.S. The system then closes off and this is not a shocker given the 100kt winds on the west side. It then moves east into Texas on Saturday or Sunday and out of the region. The 12z NAM had precipitation developing Thursday night and moving through Oklahoma by Friday morning then surged the 850mb/700mb fronts into Texas cutting off the precip. The 00z NAM has backed off on this solution and maintains moisture across parts of OK and TX. This allows QPF around .50 in southeast Oklahoma. The next issue becomes precip type and at this point it appears that freezing rain is possible Thursday night into Friday morning. After that, any precip that falls should be snow. There may be an exception for the far southeast areas, but kind of tough to detail until model resolution
increases.

The Texas side of this forecast is even more difficult, but it looks like a large part of central and northern Texas may get in on the action. Stay tuned, this is certainly going to be a fun one.

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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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