Friday, January 13, 2012

Early next week storm potential

We've just finished one storm and our eyes are already watching the potential next one.  A weak clipper system will move through Saturday providing a few snow showers during the afternoon, shouldn't be anything too significant.  A cold front will move in from the northwest Sunday night as an area of low pressure develops in the southern Plains.  Lows that develop in the southern Plains and lift northeast are ones to watch this time of year as they can sometimes be big snow producers.

There are two potential storms tracks that we'll be watching through the weekend.  The first, which is what the National Weather Service's GFS model shows, is a low that develops near the Oklahoma panhandle, moves just north of St. Louis Monday evening and then tracks just south of Chicago late Monday night.  This type of track would bring rain at the onset, depending on temperatures, a change over to a wintry mix or even freezing rain and then switch over to snow on the backside Tuesday.

The European model is depicting a track further to the south which would essentially bring us a greater threat for accumulating snow.  Now that we have snow on the ground a track further to the south may be more likely.  The difference in temperatures between snow covered ground and ground that is bare could provide that 'thermal gradient' needed for the low to move and develop over. 

Either way it does appear that a storm will impact us early next week.  Details will continue to be hammered out through the weekend.  Stay tuned!

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