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!"

December 7, 2009

Winter Storm Central Plains — December 8, 2009

Filed under: General Weather & Forecasting,chase mode updates — Mike U @ 3:58 pm

Interesting storm shaping up for the Great Plains…impacting much of Kansas, particularly along and north of I-70 late tonight and Tuesday (December 8th).  I wasn’t going to blog about this storm because it didn’t appear as if it would impact southwest Kansas much… including here in Dodge City… but trends are just a bit farther south with the lower tropospheric response and precipitation.  The arctic air protruded farther south down the western Plains than any of the models suggested.  See the map below, which is a surface chart valid this afternoon at 2:00pm:


The surface winds in the arctic air will try to veer around in response to cyclogenesis in the Rockies, but it is difficult.  Each model run has trended just a bit farther south with the track of the surface low in time…taking it now into the TX Panhandle then into north-central Oklahoma…which would place heavy snow track from roughly Ness City to Hays to Salina and points northeast from there.  Any farther south and it would put Dodge City in the heavy snow track…but as it stands now, Dodge City will be on the southern periphery of this storm.  Below is the Snowfall run-total accumulations from the 12z model runs of the GFS and the NAM (from Earl Barker’s site):


Below is the Canadian GEM model valid 6pm CST Tuesday 12/8/09:


I am expecting 2-4″ here in Dodge City, mainly falling between midnight tonight and noon Tuesday 12/8.  That said, we will be near or within the gradient in snowfall… so we may get a lot more than that… or not much at all — the higher confidence in heavy snow is going to be up along I-70… as it has been looking pretty much all along.  We shall see!  With the colder airmass than anticipated, things may wind up being farther south!  I’ll be at the house watching it unfold tonight and tomorrow before going into work at 4pm Tuesday.

Mike U

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