Winter Weather Discussion 2010-2-2

Valid: 2010-03-19
Timing: Tonight through late Sunday

*Significant winter storm to impact Oklahoma*
*Preparations should be rushed to completion*

Highlights:

– Winter Storm Warning for much of western, central, northeast
Oklahoma and the panhandle. Common snowfall accumulations of 4-6
inches are likely with amounts greater than 8 inches mainly in
northeast Oklahoma.

– Winter Storm Watch for parts of south-central, east-central, and
southeast Oklahoma. Sleet and snow accumulations of 2-4 inches are
likely in this area.

– Strong winds are expected with this system across Oklahoma. This
may create near-blizzard conditions across parts of central and
eastern Oklahoma late Saturday into Sunday.

– If there is any ongoing rain, it will transition to freezing rain,
sleet, and quickly to snow. Current timing is all snow in Oklahoma
City by 7am and Tulsa by 10am. Due to the earlier arrival of
subfreezing air, there is the chance of freezing rain in Oklahoma City
and Tulsa. Amounts should be less than 0.15 inches but a little goes
a long ways.

– This will be a long duration event for the state as a whole,
although eastern Oklahoma will experience the longest duration snowfall.

Discussion:

Arctic cold front is moving rapidly move through Oklahoma and is ahead
of schedule. Mesonet indicates that temperatures are below freezing
in northwest Oklahoma and in Oklahoma City temperatures are running 2F
below model forecasts. As such the time period for transition to snow
is now earlier. 00z NAM had a few changes to prior runs but this
seems to bring it more inline was current forecasts.

Upper system is still expected to slow as it closes off over northeast
Texas on Saturday. This will prolong the snow threat for the eastern
1/2 of Oklahoma through Sunday. Parts of central sections may clear
out early Sunday if current progs are correct. Far eastern Oklahoma
will likely have precipitation through Sunday evening.

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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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