T-Minus 24 Hours To Winter Storm

UPDATE:  Wednesday, February 20, 2013, 4:07 p.m.

Good Wednesday afternoon and evening, my friends.  Just a couple of small updates with tomorrow’s forecast based on the latest information coming in.

As expected, that “Winter Storm Watch” for much of Iowa and some of Illinois has been fine tuned.  Where the heaviest snow will fall across Iowa, it’s now a “Winter Storm Warning” (pink color) and for the Illinois counties (and some Iowa counties along the Mississippi), it’s now a “Winter Weather Advisory” (purple shading).

Also, the timing of the storm has slowed down again!  This means that snow before noon Thursday is unlikely other than a few flurries in the far south.  Snow will begin down across northern Missouri, southern Iowa, and west-central Illinois by late afternoon, and by evening in the Quad Cities.  Once the snow intensifies after dark, it’s really going to come down for about six hours.

This is the latest GFS forecast map for 6 p.m. Thursday.

The next three maps are for 9 p.m. Thursday, midnight, and 3 a.m. Friday.  The darkest greens and the blue is the moderate to heavy snow.

Okay, everyone, be safe and don’t freak out if these numbers are different from someone else’s. 🙂

Here’s what I wrote on Facebook today when that was addressed:  “A popular question when snowstorms approach: “Why can’t forecasters agree on totals?” Peeps’ soapbox answer: “Each station (and the NWS) has different forecasters and they each look at data and interpret it differently. Some will be right and some will be wrong. People should know who they trust and go with that forecaster’s amounts. It’s just like a television set — most people have them, but they don’t always turn them to the same channels and watch the same shows. Otherwise, there would be no need to have more than one channel to watch. The bottom line, regardless of who you believe, is that it’s going to snow tomorrow and it’s going to be a mess.” 🙂


ORIGINAL POST:  Wednesday, February 20, 2013, 8:49 a.m.

Hey there, did you hear that it’s going to snow Thursday afternoon into Friday?  I’m sure you’ve heard anything from a dusting to “eye-popping” totals!  And, I guess if you leave the range that open, the forecast is correct.

If you have errands to get done, today is a perfect day for that with sunny skies and cold temperatures.  Even with highs today expected to be in the 20-25° range, it’ll feel better than yesterday because of the lighter winds.

A “Winter Storm Watch” goes into effect Thursday afternoon into Friday morning for the counties shaded in blue on this map.  And, if you have travel plans to the west or southwest today or tomorrow, you can see that there’s quite a bit of pink (Winter Storm Warning) where the heaviest of snow will be falling with the next storm.

Thursday starts off innocent enough with just a few flurries or light snow developing southwest of the Quad Cities.  Snow will be gaining intensity by Thursday afternoon as it moves out of Missouri across Iowa and Illinois.

These forecast maps from the GFS model show the snow as it moves across the Midwest beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday.  The heaviest snow, maybe an inch or two per hour in some locations, is represented by darker greens.

These next maps move us ahead in three-hour intervals to 9 p.m. Thursday, midnight, and then 3 a.m. Friday.

By daybreak Friday, the heaviest of the snow will have already accumulated across the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys as the storm pushes into the Great Lakes.

Here are the snow totals that I expect from this storm.

The heaviest snow (6″+) will fall across Iowa. Along the Mississippi River, 3-6″ of snow is likely.

Jo Daviess County, Illinois, is tough because they are not under the “Winter Storm Watch”, but I still expect 3-6″ of snow in  the western part of the county and lesser amounts as you head east toward Stephenson County.

That’s a ballpark forecast.  That’s not to say that there won’t be isolated higher totals.  Yes, it’s possible that some locations in the 3-6″ range may see 7″ or that Freeport may see 4″ of snow rather than 1-3″.  That comes with the winter weather forecasting.

A few more things to consider as we head into this next winter storm:

  • Along with the snow, we’ll have winds of 15-30 miles-per-hour Thursday afternoon into Friday morning causing blowing snow and near white out conditions when the heaviest snow falls.
  • We’re still 24 hours away from the heaviest of the snow (as of this writing), so these totals could be altered again.
  • The “Winter Storm Watch” (blue shading) will likely be upgraded to a “Winter Storm Warning” for some areas, a “Winter Weather Advisory” or a “Snow Advisory” for others later today or early Thursday.

Have a great day and don’t buy all the milk.  But, I don’t need bread or toilet paper.   🙂


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kerry Riley on February 20, 2013 at 9:26 am

    I will make sure to buy up the Milk 🙂 LOL


  2. Posted by Kathy Hyson on February 20, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Anthony, can we expect the same 3-6 in. in the LaSalle-Peru area? We’re about 20 miles East of Princeton. Friday is my day off so I can enjoy the snow from the comfort of home! 🙂


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