Archive for Winter weather

Major Winter Storm for the Deep South 1/9-1/11/11

Posted in Extreme Weather Video, Severe weather, Winter weather with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2011 by stormstream

Winter storm warnings and ice storm warnings are up for much Dixie as a major winter storm develops and rolls across the region. Some locations will see more snow than they have seen in decades, while others get more ice than they have witnessed since the big hair days of the 1980s.

I will concentrate mainly on Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina in this blog posting, since this is the region I live in and forecast for.

Basically, we can use I-20/I-85 as the boundary between significant snow and ice, with the I-20 corridor receiving a nasty mixture of both types of deadly winter precipitation. It appears from the latest runs of the HRRR (Rapid Refresh) short-range model and NAM, the heavies snow band with this system is going to streak out across central and northeast Mississippi and into northwest and northern Alabama and into southern middle Tennessee, southeast Tennessee, southwest North Carolina and the upstate of South Carolina. The deformation band where the longest duration of heavy snow will establish itself looks to be across parts of northeast Mississippi and northwest and north-central Alabama into extreme southern middle Tennessee and southeast Tennessee. This region would be one of the jackpot snow regions with more than 10 inches of snow possible. Yet another “jackpot” snow area aided by elevation would be the northeast & north-central Alabama/extreme southern middle Tennessee area, centered on the Lookout mountain area where more that a foot of snow could accumulate on the crest of the ridge. Obviously, a third so-called jackpot snow accumulation region would be the elevation-aided region of the southern Appalachian mountains from extreme north and northeast Georgia northward into southeast Tennessee and southwest North Carolina. This region, especially the TN and NC portion of that region could see over a foot of snow, with some of that accumulation coming on Tuesday and Wednesday with the passage of a clipper and the enhancement from a moist northwest flow in the wake of that system. The remainder of the Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina region to the north of I-20 & 85 will see generally 3 to 8 inches of snow, with the lesser amounts along I-20 and the accumulated snow depth increasing as you head north from I-20 with generally an inch added for every 20 miles north. Hopefully that makes sense. lol Here are some forecast totals for the airports in the region: ATL 4″. BHM: 2″. MCN: 1/2″. HSV: 12″. CHA: 11″. GSP: 8″

Now to probably the most life and property-threatening aspect of this major winter storm, the ice. Areas south of I-20 in Alabama and Georgia will start out as snow, but transition to sleet and then to light, but very steady and long-duration freezing rain and drizzle. This type of light, but steady long-duration freezing rain and drizzle is the very worst type of freezing rain as everything that falls will freeze on exposed objects and not run off. Widespread accumulations of 1/4 of glaze on exposed objects will be common south of I-20 in AL and GA to within 75 miles of the Gulf coast. 1/4 inch of glaze is the threshold for damaging freezing rain, especially softwood trees such as pines. So, widespread pine tree branches will come down onto power lines, and that will induce power outages. Of more concern is the potential for fairly large areas of .50 inch glaze ice accumulations on exposed objects within that wide .25 inch zone. These areas will see severe ice storm damage with hardwood trees such as oak, hickory and walnuts not only losing large branches, but actually splitting and falling onto home. Many pines will lose branches and bend all the way to the ground. It will be an absolute disaster for the trees of the region, and of course since we love our trees in the South we surround our homes and businesses with them. This means widespread structural damage as well as power outages from fallen branches and trees on utility lines. Here are some forecasts for glaze ice accumulations on exposed objects for the same airports I gave snowfall projections for: ATL: .10 BHM: .20 MCN: .40 (severe ice storm) HSV: .00
CHA: .00 GSP: .05

Folks, this is a system that is going to continue and evolve and change through the day on Sunday, so the forecasts I provided above, while being my best estimate based on current data, could very well change for the better or for the worse as the day goes on. The key is to not concentrate on the minor changes in terms of snowfall and ice accumulation forecasts, but just to understand and take serious the severity of this winter storm. Be weather-aware and take preparations and precautions to protect you and those you know, as well as your property. Be ready and prepared to lose power, especially in the ice storm region, and be prepared for the worst-case-scenario of not having power for several days to even as long as a week or two in very rural areas as utility companies will be stretched thin.

I plan to cover this winter storm in the Atlanta and north and central Georgia region starting this evening and continuing through the day on Monday. I will be broadcasting LIVE at http://stormscapelive.com and also at http://www.chasertv.com. Live streaming should start around 8pm on Sunday, January 9 and continue through the night and into the day on Monday, January 10. However, if conditions on the roads become to severe to safely cover this winter storm I will return home, but continue to stream from my neighborhood. Another great location to view live streams of this winter storm is at the Bama Camera Net on the Alabama Storm Trackers web page. The address is http://alabamastormtrackers.com/alcamnet/.

Good luck and stay safe!

Advertisements

Major Outbreak of Severe Storms and Tornadoes acorss Dixie Friday and Saturday. Blizzard in the Plains.

Posted in Severe weather, Winter weather with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2009 by stormstream

The next few days will feature WEATHER GONE MAD!  Dangerous and possibly strong to violent tornadoes whipping across the South, while in the colder air Across the central Plains into the Corn Belt there will be a full-blown blizzard.  There is no sugar coating this – many lives and property will be impacted and put in danger by weather conditions between now and Sunday.  These types of high-impact, dangerous weather events always leave a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, because I know there could very well be people going about their daily lives today that will no longer be with us in a few days.  Taken tragically and prematurely by an act of nature than cannot be controlled, but while we cannot control the weather we can certainly talk about it in strong, attention-getting ways that will hopefully make people understand the seriousness of the event, and hopefully spur them to take the necessary steps to protect life and property, thus mitigating losses.

All of the ingredients are there for a high-end severe weather event across AR, LA, MS, AL, TN and western GA during the day Friday and through Friday night.  Northern and central LA, southern AR, southwest TN and western MS appear to be at the greatest risk for all modes of severe weather during the daylight hours on Friday.  the risk will exist for strong to violent long-tracked tornadoes, and I am most concerned about the Mississippi Delta region being ground zero for this potentially deadly weather.

Heading into the darkness of Friday night and early Saturday morning, the greatest threat translates eastward across the remainder of MS, all of AL, western GA and much of TN.  The severe thunderstorm and tornado parameters remain strong, and there is a very real threat for strong to violent nighttime tornadoes across a region that is frequented by these in set-ups like this.  Overall the parameters are generally weaker than those forecast for Friday afternoon, and hopefully that will lessen the severity of the nighttime event, but the potential is certainly there for just a horrible night, especially for eastern MS and much of AL.

On Saturday exact timing and location of the surface features becomes a question, and a precise forecast hinges on the location of these features.  In general, it can be said that severe weather and tornado parameters continue to weaken, but are still high enough for a significant event that would include the possibility of tornadoes.  As the surface low lifts northeast, the unstable airmass in the warm sector will surge north and northeast ahead of it.  This means that there threat for significant severe weather will now extend as far north as the eastern sections of the Ohio Valley.  Under the gun for severe weather on Saturday will be the eastern half of GA, northern FL, SC, NC, eastern TN, central and eastern KY, southern and southeast OH, WV and VA.  At this point I cannot be more specific about Saturday, except to say that the severe weather threat remains significant and potentially dangerous.

While all of this is going on in the South and East, a blizzard will be raging across southwest KS, the OK panhandle and northern TX panhandle during the day on Friday.  Thundersnow will also be a possibility with snowfall rates over 3 inches per hour and howling winds.  This will be a very dangerous storm for anyone traveling across this region, and those caught outdoors unprepared for the extreme winter weather conditions.  The heavy snow and blizzard conditions shift into northern OK and central and eastern KS early Saturday morning, then northeast into the Corn Belt region during the day on Saturday.  The danger factor for travelers and those caught outside unprepared remains high through Saturday.

Looking ahead, another major winter-style storm is possible for parts of the central and northern Plains and western Great Lakes early next week.  The middle and end of next week could again feature a multi-faceted severe weather and winter-weather-producing storm for the eastern half of the country.

Still a Little Snow Possible in Dixie This Weekend, But Not Much

Posted in Winter weather with tags , , , , , , , on February 19, 2009 by stormstream

My thoughts and prayers are with all of those impacted by yesterday and last night’s severe weather.

The forecast models still indicate a chance for light rain changing to a period of light snow across TN, north MS, north AL and north GA this Saturday into Sunday morning, but the trend is for less moisture and less cold air.  So, that translates into some flakes, but nothing that is going to add up to a whole lot.

I think most areas north of I-20 could see a brief transition to some light snow through the day Saturday and Saturday night.  No accumulations except for a dusting to an inch across the higher elevations of northeast AL and north GA.  TN could make out a little better with 1-2 inches possible for the Plateau, and 1-3 inches for the mountains.

It’s too early to say if this is the last chance for significant wintry precipitation across the Southeast, but we are getting really close to officially pulling the plug on winter down here.  It really is starting to look and feel a lot more like spring.