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WINTER STORM TAKES AIM...

A potentially strong winter storm is ejecting out of the SW United States and will take am on the region Monday night and Tuesday. A prolonged period of accumulating snow is expected for the area. Later on Tuesday and into Wednesday, winds will increase, allowing blowing and drifting even after the snow ends Tuesday night. Due to the high confidence and the expected impacts of the storm, a WINTER STORM WATCH has been issued The storm is likely to produce significant impacts, especially with travel stretching into Wednesday, well after the snow departs. Much of the heart of my area has an 80 percent chance of reaching warning criteria, meaning the watches will eventually be upgraded to winter storm warnings in many spots by the NWS.

Currently, my entire area shown below is in the winter storm watch.

Overall, moderate to potentially major impacts are anticipated as depicted in the winter storm severity index. That indicates disruptions to daily life.

Regarding the storm track, there has been waffling of the guidance the past few days. The main path was always and consistently along and east of the Mississippi River. When the NAM arrived Friday night, it was much further NW than any of the guidance. The NAM already had the system vertically stacked, while other guidance was more progressive and further SE. Now the GFS, EURO, and their ensembles have all shifted to the NW. This appears to be a hard trend and as such the heavier snow axis has now progressed to near and west of the river. If the trend holds or even shifts further west, parts of the watch may become advisories instead of warnings later. That will be determined by the NWS in time.


You will note in the NWS graphic the region highlighted SE of the Quad Cities for potentially lower totals.

What you are looking at here is the official NWS forecast. At some point today this will be updated, and I suspect there will be a shift west on the heavier amounts due to new data just in.

Here are the latest models and you can see they are generally a bit west of the official forecast, at least for now.


The EURO

The GFS

The 3k NAM

The National blend of models (NBM)

As for the timing of the snow, it should begin Monday evening with the onset of warm advection. Several inches are likely with this burst. There may be a bit of a lull or lighter intensity late Monday night or Tuesday morning before the deformation zone swings in, bringing another round of heavier snow. While the snow could start with a mix of rain in the far south, it should quickly go over to all snow and stay that way unless the storm comes even further NW, that could put a real dent in snow accumulations in the far SE. Something to watch.


Additionally, later Tuesday (especially Tuesday night and Wednesday morning), strong winds are anticipated that could reach 35 to perhaps 40 mph. That will cause blowing and drifting snow, particularly in the open country and rural areas. Falling snow should end in most areas by midnight Tuesday night.


A secondary storm is possible late week, but models have been on and off with that. For now the EURO is on, the GFS is off to the S/east. Plenty of time to get that situation straightened out. Eventually, Arctic air finds its way into the Midwest for next weekend. Again, this is a very energetic weather pattern with significant winter impacts possible into next week.


That is all for now, I will get some new snow charts up sometime this evening so check back for updates. Roll weather...TS

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