Winter Weather Discussion 2009-4-1

Winter Weather Discussion for March 26-28, 2009.
Valid: 03/25/2009.

– Winter Storm Watch is posted for parts of NW Oklahoma and the
panhandle (see counties below) Thursday evening through Friday. This
is a potentially dangerous situation with significant amounts of snow
accumulation possible. Time of year and recent warm weather may cause
many public citizens to be caught off guard. Snowfall amounts of at
least 6 inches are likely in the threat area with common 8-10 inches
and isolated amounts of 12-14 inches.

– Moderate impacts are expected overall with high impacts possible to
transportation due to blowing and drifting snow.

– Snow is possible across the rest of northern and central Oklahoma.
Accumulations of 2-4 inches seem likely, with higher amounts in
Oklahoma.

– Severe thunderstorms are possible in central, south-central, and
eastern Oklahoma Thursday and Friday. Primary threat right now is
large hail.

– Very strong winds are likely late Thursday through Saturday for much
of the state. Areas that get snow will have near blizzard conditions.

– It is emphasized that this is a potentially dangerous situation.
Persons in the threat area are urged to take action to protect life
and property.

Discussion:

12z NAM continues prior thinking of moderate to high impact weather
conditions Thursday – Saturday. A variety of sensible weather impacts
are likely across the state through this time period. All of this is
as a result of a closed low, which is progged to develop in the
southwest U.S. on Thursday. This system will then move east towards
Oklahoma late Thursday and through the state on Saturday. This low is
very cold with 500mb temperatures AOB
-25C. Model BUFKIT data are quite impressive for the northwest
relative to snow potential. 12z NAM BUFKIT estimates about 1.0-1.2
inches of water equivalent for Gage and using the standard 10-1 ratio,
this yields at least one foot of snow accumulation. The snow is
expected to be wet and heavy, which would allow for greater
accumulations. Additionally, the current warm ground temperatures
will be a non-factor due to the expected snowfall rate. Farther east
and south, potential for snow accumulations is less certain due to
arrival of cold air and snowfall rates. 12z NAM BUFKIT data does
suggest at least 2-4 inches in Oklahoma City. The track of the upper
system is key to how much snow is received beyond the watch area and
as such the amounts will fluctuate the next few days.

Severe thunderstorms are likely across the southeastern quarter of
Oklahoma on Thursday with large hail the primary threat. There is a
concern regarding severe thunderstorms on Friday and this will have to
be reviewed in more detail later.

Counties:

Winter Storm Watch –

Texas, Beaver, Cimarron, Harper, Woods, Alfalfa, Ellis, Woodwaard,
Major, Roger Mills, Dewey, Custer, and Beckman.

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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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