Winter Weather Discussion – 2009-4-4

Winter Weather Discussion for March 27-28, 2009
Valid: 03/27/2009.

*Significant winter storm underway*
*This remains a life threatening situation*

Highlights:

– Blizzard warning continues for all of the Oklahoma panhandle and
much of northwest Oklahoma. Snow accumulations of 10-15 inches are
likely with sustained winds of 40mph, gusting to 50mph.

– Winter Storm Warning continues for southwest, west-central,
central, and north-central Oklahoma. Snow accumulations of 8-12
inches are likely with sustained winds of 25mph, gusting to 35mph.
Southern areas of the warning may receive 4-6 inches of snow.

– Winter Storm Watch continues for northeast Oklahoma. Snow
accumulations of 4-6 inches are expected.

– See county outline below.

– I-40 is closed from NM/TX border to Tucumcari. HAZMAT in-progress
near the TX/NM border, two trucks blocking I-40. Texas DPS being
requested by NM to close I-40.

– Oklahoma City may receive sleet or snow during the evening rush hour.

– Conference calls with R6 10:00 CDT, NWS Amarillo 10:30 CDT, NWS
Tulsa 11:30 CDT.

Discussion:

Recent RADAR trends and 06z model guidance indicates the long
advertised snow event is in full swing. Reports from Amarillo NWS
indicate a few power problems but mainly high winds and snow
accumulations. Snow accumulations of 6 inches have been reported in
Cimarron County, no reports from Beaver or Texas county.

06z NAM continues to point at very robust liquid equivalent totals
across Oklahoma. While forecasters remain skeptical regarding the
25-30 inch snowfall totals, it is quite reasonable to use 10-15
inches. There will likely be a few areas that reach close to two feet
of snow accumulation. However, measuring such with the strong winds
will be nearly impossible.

MCS occurred along the Texas coast yesterday afternoon and evening,
this almost put a big kink in the forecasting for this event as said
storms reduced 850mb moisture. However, moisture surge occurring in
east Texas into Oklahoma and likely no longer an issue. The 12z runs
will be very interesting as they may better account for the MCS impacts.

I have great concern that Oklahoma City will switch over to frozen
precip before model indicated time. NWS has 4-7pm and this is
reasonable. I have moved it up to near rush hour as this seems to
frequently be the case. Mother Nature has a sense of humor after all.
So, I'm calling for rain changing to sleet and snow during the
mid/late afternoon in Oklahoma City.

County Outline:

– Blizzard Warning:
HARPER-WOODS-ALFALFA-GRANT-ELLIS-WOODWARD-MAJOR-GARFIELD-
ROGER MILLS-DEWEY-CUSTER-BLAINE-BECKHAM-TEXAS-BEAVER-CIMARRON

– Winter Storm Warning:
MCCLAIN-CLEVELAND-POTTAWATOMIE-KINGFISHER-WASHITA-CADDO-CANADIAN-HARMON-GREER-KIOWA-JACKSON-KAY-NOBLE-LOGAN-PAYNE-OKLAHOMA-LINCOLN-GRADY-COMANCHE-OSAGE-WASHINGTON
OK-PAWNEE

– Winter Storm Watch: NOWATA-CRAIG-OTTAWA-TULSA-ROGERS-MAYES-DELAWARE-CREEK-
WAGONER

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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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