Winter Storm Watch: Up To 5 Inches Of Snow Expected This Weekend

20 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

5 Things To Know About This Winter.

“It will be our first snow of the season on Saturday,” said CBS 62 Chief Meteorologist Jim Madaus. “We could see about one inch to possibly three inches here in Detroit, a little more up to our north and our west.” Forecasters say snow will develop across the region early Saturday morning and increase in coverage and intensity by the afternoon. CHICAGO (CBS) — Expecting as much as 7 inches of snow in some outlying suburbs, the National Weather Service has issued a winter weather watch for 17 counties north and west of Chicago, from Friday night through early Saturday afternoon.A blast of wintry weather brought whiteout conditions from Colorado to Kansas on Tuesday, while hundreds of thousands in the Northwest remained without power Wednesday after fierce winds killed at least three people, officials said. The heaviest snowfall rates are expected late Saturday afternoon through the evening, where snowfall totals up to or in excess of 5 inches are possible. But there’s still a lot of uncertainty on how this storm will evolve, which will determine who will see the heaviest snow and how much of it will fall.

Forecasters expected a mix of rain and snow to begin early Friday evening, and as temperatures continue to drop, to switch over to all snow through mid-afternoon on Saturday, with heavy snowfall at times. A windstorm reached as high as 119 mph in the Cascade Range of western Washington state as 49 mph gusts battered the Puget Sound region, The Weather Channel reported.

The rain will become mixed with and then change over to snow with several inches of accumulation expected especially to the west and north of the city. ET, and Spokane Public Schools announced classes were canceled Wednesday due to the outages. “Given the typical ratio of power customers to actual people, this means at least 1 million people were affected by power outages in Washington alone,” said Weather.com senior meteorologist Nick Wiltgen.

If temperatures stay warmer a bit longer than expected, of if the storm system shifts north a little, the Chicago area might not get much snow, if any. Winter storm watches are in effect from northeast Nebraska and southeast South Dakota, though much of Iowa and into northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Once the snow is done, the rest of the weekend will be unseasonably cold, with a high of only about 35 on Saturday afternoon, before dropping to a frigid 21 overnight.

Models are suggesting the highest snowfall totals in Iowa will range anywhere from 8 to 15 inches, with the Thursday morning GFS being on the high side of things. Transportation authorities urged motorists to stay home if they could in Colorado, southern Wyoming, northeast New Mexico, western Nebraska and northwest Kansas. The storm—created by a powerful low-pressure system—was heading to the Southeast, where it was already creating heavy thunderstorms and the threat of floods.

Flash flood warnings were in effect Tuesday night for northeast Arkansas, while watches extended from southern Illinois all the way down through Louisiana and Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. Thunderstorms with tornado-speed winds knocked out power and ripped the roof off a business in downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas, NBC station KARK of Little Rock reported. “It looked like a tornado in the movies — you know, a tornado with the lightning inside,” said Helga Gibson, owner of Central Bark, a dog spa in Hot Springs. Fortunately for the city itself, warm ground temperatures and proximity to the relatively warm water of Lake Michigan will keep accumulation on the low end. The significant effects of El Nino are felt most during the late autumn and winter months in the U.S., and we’ve already started to see that influence this November.

The biggest thing to look for with a strong El Nino is an active and energetic subtropical jet stream, which brings stormy weather across the southern tier of the U.S. It also tends to flood the country with bouts of mild and moisture-laden air, and when in control can limit the number of arctic outbreaks trying to push down from the north. While there are always bouts of cold air that can pour down from time to time in November and December, we’re expecting both months to run well above average in respect to temperature. It’s looking like the recent trend of ‘shifted seasons’ will continue, with the majority of true winter weather waiting it out until after the New Year’s champagne is poured.

If we’re going to pick up some decent snowfall and go through stretches of very cold winter air, they should be more focused late in the season – mid-January through mid-March. This winter should bring the triumphant return of more traditional storms, bringing mixed precipitation, coastal fronts, and rain/snow lines setting up in the 128 corridor.

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