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High Plains Drifter

disclaimer:  "The meteorological views/forecast thinking expressed are those solely of the author of this blog
and do not necessarily represent those of official National Weather Service forecast products,
therefore read and enjoy at your own risk and edification!"

February 23, 2007

Central Plains Winter Storm Feb 23-24 [5]

Filed under: Feb 23-24, 2007,General Weather & Forecasting — Mike U @ 2:02 am

Western Kansas blizzard still on track.  All the models are still on track in developing the surface and mid level cyclone during the day Saturday as it moves across Kansas.  The kinematic and thermal fields are all quite impressive for fairly decent precipitation west of the low — suggesting a 9 to 12 hour duration blizzard over portions of western Kansas.  Below are a few NAM forecast charts I put together from the latest 00z model run:

850mb temperature prog shows air cold enough for snow diving south across western Kansas by midday Saturday 2/24.  700mb moisture is shown to wrap significantly around the system during the day

500mb low will be positioned near Pratt, KS per the NAM model with a very deep ~530dam minimum height.

For "wrap-around" precipitation around a powerful low, forecasters tend to look for a nose of warm, moist air in the mid levels from roughly 750 to 550mb.  Above is the 700mb temperature forecast showing an axis of warmer 700mb temps nosing back into the Hays-Wakeeney corridor just northwest of the 700mb low center.  The temperature gradient at 700mb between this warm nose aloft (more popularly called "trowal" by forecasters) and the axis of cold air to its immediate west over far northwestern Kansas and northeastern Colorado…will be a zone of enhanced precipitation.

Next update on this storm may not come until late tomorrow night as I may be pulling some overtime at work with severe weather ahead of this storm.

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