Thursday, January 28, 2016

Groundhog Day Blizzard Unfolding Next Week

Computer models and data/observations are continuing to increase confidence in a high impact winter storm to start off next week. The question is who and where sees the bulk of the extreme weather. Right now the system that is forecasted to work into the Midwest is still out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where data is relativity sparse. A lot can change as this disturbance evolves, but the idea of a low pressure ejecting from the Rockies on Monday looks concrete. Blizzard condition are expected to develop in parts of Kansas as we head into Monday and Tuesday. The highest confidence is located in this location, as we have a good evidence that this piece of energy will cross through the four corner regions and dump heavy snow and high winds northwest of the track. Meanwhile, the question of exactly where it goes next us still somewhat up in the air. A stronger system would phase more to the west, while a weak system looks to pass through the Chicago area. Current model guidance is leaning towards a low pressure tracking over Chicago, which would dump the heaviest snow from central Iowa to Northern Wisconsin, similar to this Winter Storm. On the left is a variety of model solutions for this winter storm through a process called ensembling. This process gathers observations and runs the model numerous time. After it is ran with the most current data and observation it is than ran again with 22 different tweaks in the data to make up for error and lack of data across the Pacific Ocean. A few degrees or miles of certain features can certainly affect what happens downstream. It like a pebble in lake, the further away you get the less uniform the waves look. As we get closer in time, the exact track will continue to be easier to pin down and increase confidence. Be sure to keep it here to Midwest Weather as we will have a snow map out over the weekend. You can follow the blog meteorologist on Twitter or 'like' us on facebook. Thanks for reading.