Winter Weather Discussion 2009-7-9

Winter Weather Discussion for December 25, 2009.
Valid: 12/24/2009.

*Life threatening winter storm continues*

Highlights:

– Blizzard warning for parts central Oklahoma (including Oklahoma
City) has expired.

– Blizzard warning continues for Payne, Lincoln, Seminole, and Pott
Counties until 2:00am. This warning will likely be canceled within
the next few hours.

– Blizzard warning continues for northeast Oklahoma until 6:00am tomorrow.

– Winter Storm Warning continues for southeast Oklahoma until 6:00am tomorrow.

– Bitter cold temperatures have overspread Oklahoma with evening
values in the mid teens northwest to low 20's I-44 corridor to mid
20's southeast. Winds are 15-25mph, with high gusts mainly in
north-central Oklahoma. Temperatures will remain below freezing
across much of the state through Sunday.

– Another winter storm is possible on Tuesday with 3-4 inches of snow
possible. Please note that winter weather forecasts are inaccurate
this far out.

– Oklahoma City set an all-time 24 hour snow record today of 14.1,
shattering the previous record of 12.3 inches. Records go back to 1890.

Discussion:

00z models and satellite/radar observations indicate the upper system
is moving northeast through Arkansas. Wrap around precipitation is
occurring in northeast Oklahoma and all precipitation has ended in
central Oklahoma, on west. As the upper system moves northeast away
from the state, the surface pressure gradient will relax and wind will
decrease. However, this process will take much of the night to occur.
00z NAM indicates snow will continue in Tulsa for several more hours
before dry air advection and downward motion end the snowfall. Models
agree that precipitation will have cleared the state by noon Friday,
if not before.

12z ECMWF/GFS indicate a southern stream shortwave trough will
approach the region on Tuesday or Wednesday. System is progged to
move through Mexico and eject northeast into Oklahoma. Forecast
confidence regarding this system is expected to once again be low due
to lack of upper air soundings. However, 12z GFS did develop what
looks to be common 2-3 inches of snow across the state. Given current
snowfall and likely sub-freezing temperatures, other precipitation
types are currently not a concern.

As noted previously many times, sub-freezing temperatures look to be
around for several days if not for the next week. The prolonged
period of freezing temperatures will result in very slow snow melt and
roads re-icing each night. Night time temperatures are likely to be
dangerous as they drop into the single digits Saturday and Sunday
nights.

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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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