31 January 2011

Super Blizzard To Hit Plains and Midwest

Posted by Dan Satterfield

Numerical Weather model prediction of snowfall (over the next 60 hours). Ctsy. Earl Barker's model pages.

It looks like the model guidance is in very good agreement on a major blizzard for the Midwest. It will start in Oklahoma tonight and spread into Missouri and Illinois Tuesday. The guidance is indicating some incredible snow totals, and over a foot is likely in a stripe from Tulsa to near Chicago.

The warm air over the Southeast and the Arctic air from the Plains will cause the low pressure center to "bomb out" quickly. Winds will cause much blowing and drifting of snow. Click to enlarge this image from NCAR.

The Plains have had a mild winter so far, with little snow, but that is about to change big time. If you have travel plans, in any of the affected states, change them. I suspect the Tulsa, St. Louis and Chicago airports will be shut down. Airports in Detroit and Indianapolis likely will have huge delays as well.

Click the image at the right to see the the surface pressure forecast for 6 PM Chicago time Tuesday. The wind field around the storm will be very large, and this will cause very high drifts and roads will be impassable.

Snowfall forecast for NE Okla. and Missouri in higher resolution. Ctsy. Earl Barker's model pages.