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

12/8/09 Winter storm: Snow reaching the ground… Heavy snow track won’t be too far north!

Filed under: General Weather & Forecasting,chase mode updates — Mike U @ 11:50 pm

This is another interesting mid latitude cyclone case involving a compact, potent mid level jet streak.  Since the jet streak and mid level PV anomaly is so compact, the greatest lift and heaviest snow may lie a little bit closer to the actual mid level vorticity track than is usual.  The chart below depicts the latest NAM model 15-hr forecast of 500mb height/wind and I noted the vorticity max in a red “X”.  The arrow then depics the primary 500mb vorticity max…expected to track due east (instead of lifting northeast) as it crosses the plains.  This is important in the sense that the heavy snow track could very well be tucked a bit closer to the vort… including Dodge City.  Of greatest interest for heavy snow will be the 6-8 hour period from roughly 12z to 20z (6am to 2pm).  This is when the mid level vorticity max will be tracking from roughly Gallup, NM to Gage, OK.  3-5″ of snow is a solid bet for Dodge City, and if the vorticity max tracks ever so slightly farther south… like even 40-50 miles… then there could be even heavier snow for Dodge City.  It will be interesting seeing the latest RUC model trends overnight!  I won’t sleep much, I love the anticipation of heavy snow and the compact mid latitude cyclones that cause them.  Call me a meteorology freak I guess.  Or weather weenie.


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