Blizzards, Snow and Ice
A low in Central Texas will finally begin to push north late tonight and into Monday. This system is bringing Blizzard conditions and heavy snow and ice from West Texas into Oklahoma with rain on in areas that are above freezing from South Texas into Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and northeast into Pennsylvania. As the system moves north, snow, ice and rain will spread farther north into the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes area for Monday and Tuesday. A second eastern arm to this system will spread snow into the Northeast for mainly Monday Night and Tues.
In addition to the large storm system impacting the eastern 2/3rds of the country, moisture streaming into the Pacific NW is continuing to support rain and snow.
Below is an overview of the various winter warnings, watches and advisories that are currently in effect across the US.
The graphics below outline areas with the higher probabilities of seeing 6 inches of snow in a 24 hr period. The areas of light blues and oranges show the locations with the higher chances. The first graphic is from this evening until Monday Evening. The second graphic is from Monday midday to Tuesday midday while the third is Tuesday Morning until Wednesday Morning.
Freezing rain and sleet will continue to be a problem with this storm from especially Oklahoma to Kansas, Iowa and Illinois from this afternoon until Monday afternoon where there is a chance of seeing 0.25 inches and greater. The axis for ice shifts to Iowa to New York and Pennsylvania for Monday Morning to Tuesday morning.
On the warmer side of this system, severe weather continues. For this evening into Monday Morning, NWS Storm Prediction Center has outlined an area of Enhanced Risk in Arkansas, Louisiana to far Eastern Texas which is surrounded by a Slight risk area that extends into Mississippi. Damaging winds, isolated tornadoes and hail are all a threat, especially the area outlined as an Enhanced risk.
For Monday Morning into Tuesday Morning, the Slight risk area is from Western Tennessee to the Mississippi, Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast. At this point, main risk is for damaging winds and hail but there is the potential for a tornado.
Heavy rain and Flooding
In addition to the severe weather risk, heavy rain and flooding will continue in the warmer regions of this system. Rainfall totals over the past 4 days have been impressive with broad areas of 2.5 inches to pockets of 8 to 10 inches.
Additional widespread precipitation of 1 to 2 inches can be expected in the Mississippi and Ohio River Valley through Tuesday Evening, with pockets of 2 – 4 inches in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas.
Not surprisingly this heavy rainfall has led to widespread flash and river flooding. The graphic below shows the large areas that are being impacted by flooding or who have a flood risk with additional forecast rainfall.
With the threat of severe weather, double check your supplies in your tornado shelter or safe room/place. Do you have extra batteries, flashlights, etc. in case you lose power? Do you have several ways to obtain storm updates (phone, radio, weather radio, etc.) to know when it is safe to come out of your shelter? Do you have a way to receive weather updates after you go to bed for nighttime tornadoes. Finally, bring inside any toys, furniture, and outdoor décor and/or deflating any blow up holiday decorations that may become lofted with strong winds or tornadoes.
For those that are traveling through areas of snow and ice, double check your car’s winter safety kit. Ensure you have extra water, food, and blankets for your entire family including any pets that are with you. If you can take a route that allows you to avoid the winter weather, that may be a better option.
The team at WxIntegrations will continue to provide relevant information and resources to help you better understand and prepare by incorporating weather impacts into your planning and response.