Winter Weather Discussion – 2008-15-3

Winter Weather Discussion for December 16 – 18, 2008.
Valid: 12/15/2008

– Winter Storm Warning for McCurtain County through noon Tuesday,
freezing rain is likely with accumulations up to 1/4 inches. Impacts
will be high to travelers and low to power facilities.

– Winter Weather Advisory for much of northeast, east-central, and
parts of southeast Oklahoma, through 9am Tuesday. In northeast and
east-central sections 1-2 inches of snow and sleet are possible,
impacts to travelers will be moderate. Farther south limited ice
accumulations are possible, impacts to travelers will be moderate.

– Light freezing rain and sleet are possible across central and
portions of western Oklahoma on Tuesday. Currently there are no
advisories posted, but a short fuse advisory may be issued if travel
conditions warrant. Impacts will be to travel and on the low to
moderate side.

– Additional winter precipitation is possible Wednesday evening into
Thursday, however the ultimate location and precipitation type is not
known.

Discussion:

Models are worthless at this point and more of a hindrance than
helpful. All the models got today's high wrong and believe this
carries through the forecast period. Maybe we'll get a good run
tonight when the 00z RAOBS are ingested.

The end result is that freezing rain and sleet are likely in eastern
Oklahoma tomorrow with advisories and warnings already posted. In
central sections the potential is less certain and at this time the
NWS is holding off on an advisory. However, a little bit of freezing
rain will go a long way to causing travel problems. Impacts for much
of the area on Tuesday will be limited to roadways, in McCurtain
County there could be isolated power issues.

Models do continue to eject a shortwave trof northeast across Kansas
Wednesday night into Thursday. The movement of this system is
consistent although there are some differences in strength. More
importantly is the temperature profile. History would indicate that
there will be a chance of freezing rain across much of the state as
the event starts Wednesday night. During the event the freezing rain
line will move north. How far north this line gets remains the tough
part of the forecast. Models want to take it into Kansas and I
believe that solution is wrong. For now I'll note the potential and
discussions will continue as necessary.

After Thursday, another Arctic cold front is expected late Friday into
Saturday. This airmass is similar to the current one. We may squeak
out a nice day on Friday.

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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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