Saturday, December 22, 2012

It Takes Snowballs to Forecast Snow Totals This Early

Hello friends!  Alright, I'll give you one last update on this blog about the Christmas storm.  So the models are finally coming into better agreement.


I am showing snapshots of the latest ECMWF run (12Z).  This first image shows little to no precipitation, however we could have a light mist/drizzle briefly changing to sleet and then to snow.  The cold air moves in so rapidly that the change should be rather quick.  This is good news because any type of ice would be HORRIBLE!

6AM Christmas Morning
 The blue line is the freezing line.  Notice how it is through the entire state by mid-day Christmas.  We will have powerful Northerly winds with gusts to 40.  This image shows snow across most of the state with band of heavier snow from West Central to South Central Oklahoma.
Noon Christmas Day
 This last image indicates that we will be well below freezing by 6pm Christmas Day, likely bringing temps in the teens Northern Oklahoma and the upper 20's for Central Oklahoma.  Snow coverage and intensity should increase for the afternoon hours in Oklahoma, especially along and south of I-40.  The heaviest snow in the entire state will fall around this time period into the evening for Southeastern Oklahoma.  This is associated with a surface low pressure system moving along the Texas and Oklahoma border.  Typically the heaviest snow is on the northwest side of a surface low pressure winter storm system.  If the Low pressure moves slightly further North, this will impact the placement of this "bullseye" of heavy snow.

How Much?

This is one of the toughest parts of forecasting but I am throwing out a *preliminary estimate* of snowfall totals.  Side note, love the National Weather Service but if us broadcasters have to publicly put ourselves out  there in terms of snowfall should too! C'mon! 

Here is an example of what we use to forecast snow totals.  This is the latest run (18Z) of the GFS model showing 2 snow "bullseyes."  One is in Northwestern Oklahoma and the highest totals are in Southeastern Oklahoma.  The one in Southeastern Oklahoma matches what I showed in the forecast models above with the snow increasing late Christmas Day in this part of the state.  This model says we could get 14" in this part of the state. That seems crazy high but I wouldn't throw it out the window because this is the same model that said we would get more than a foot of snow with the 2009 blizzard and WE DID.

By blending the forecast models and the GFS snow model forecast I ended up with this:


If you can, don't travel on Christmas.  It will be a hot mess all day. There will be blowing and drifting of snow.  The few plows Oklahoma own and sand cannot stand up against 30 mph winds.  All it takes is one accident to cause a major pileup and then close down Interstates.  PLEASE STAY OFF THE ROADS ON CHRISTMAS! I AM BEGGING YOU!

I will not be around to update you all so please watch NewsChannel 4 for the latest updates.  My homeboys Troy and Chase have got your back!

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Be Merry, be blessed and BE SAFE!

1 comment:

  1. Merry Christmas to you and your family!! Thank you for all your posts on this!! c-: