Weather Discussion February 7 – 13

Severe Weather Discussion for February 7 – 13, 2011.
Issued:  02/06/2011.

Highlights:

–  Significant snow storm is possible again this week.  Widespread snow accumulations of 6-10 inches appears likely across the state late Tuesday into Wednesday.

–  Temperatures will be in the low 40s on Monday, near 40F Tuesday, near 15F Wednesday, upper 20s Tuesday, mid 30s Friday, upper 40s Saturday, and mid 50s Sunday.

Probabilities:

–  Severe Thunderstorms in Oklahoma:  < 5%
–  Storm Chase:  5%
–  Winter Precip:  75%

Discussion:

Yet again, all forecasting efforts are on the potential high-end event this week.  Current thinking is that while widespread snowfall of 6-10 inches is likely across Oklahoma, we will lack the 30-40mph winds to call it a blizzard.  Given the recent very high-end event, I’m keeping this just below the greater than 75% threshold.  Even though Oklahoma will likely see another big snowfall.  In fact this system will likely produce frozen precipitation well south into central Texas.  Special discussions will be initiated this afternoon.  Another big difference with the incoming system, it takes an eastward trajectory where the prior system ejected northeast across northeast Texas into Arkansas.  This caused the pivot point to be over northeast Oklahoma where 20 inches of snow was reported.

The general pattern this week will feature the ever present eastern Pacific ridge and a full latitude trof immediately down stream.  Medium range models agree that once the full latitude trof progresses east, the previously mentioned ridge will break-down and shift west.  This should allow zonal flow to develop across the lower 48 and a welcome break from the Arctic air.  Unfortunately, we most go through one more round before this can happen.  As such, the next round of Arctic air is expected on Tuesday, which after a rather nice Saturday will bring us back to the reality of the season.  I agree with Norman that Arctic air is usually difficult to erode and I have gone below MOS Thursday and Friday.  I went with MOS for the weekend, going with a rather pleasant weekend.  If weekend temperatures do verify, the current snowpack/glacier should readily melt.

So, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, we just have to go through one more event first.  The good thing about these events is the moisture put into the ground.  GFS shows stronger flow developing in the eastern Pacific around the 16th-18th, which may provide some additional drought relief.

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