Sunday, December 14, 2008

Winter Storm (Dec. 16)

Our next winter storm will make its' way into the state by tomorrow morning, and with the frigid air in place it will undoubtedly be an all snow event for the state. As our storm system that affected us yesterday continues to move east, an area of high pressure will setup over the state today and tonight keeping the temperatures well below normal. We'll then see a wave of energy come through Tuesday afternoon, this is what will be responsible for the snowfall across the state of Iowa and surroundings. Although the system as a whole does not look potent, the combination of the shortwave and temperatures will allow for moderate to heavy snowfall to occur across the state.

The computer models have been consistent in bringing this snowfall over the state throughout the day on Tuesday, thus there are no real concerns of this event not happening over Iowa. The band of heaviest snowfall has been consistently painted by a consensus of the models over the southern third of the state. Northern Iowa won't miss out though, still seeing several inches of snow throughout the state. The snowfall will be heaviest in the morning hours over western Iowa, the afternoon hours in central Iowa, and then during the evening hours over eastern Iowa. Although winds are not expected to be as high, thus limiting the blowing snow; travel conditions are still likely to be hazardous due to the snow and reduced visibilities.

With QPF expected in the .2 to .5 range across the state, and with snow:water ratios ranging from 12:1 to 20:1 it will not take much to see snowfall rates greater than an inch per hour. This has led me to this crude map of potential snowfall amounts across the state for tomorrow. Enjoy the snow! An update will likely be issued tonight upon the NWS issuing advisories/warnings for this storm system.